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Volunteer Testimonials

Jacqueline Tate - Scottish Borders Committee Secretary 

I have been a Committee Member of BHS Borders since Oct/Nov 2014 and in 2015 I became Secretary and have been in the role ever since.

Helene our National Manager for the BHS in Scotland said the committee were looking for new members to join the committee and it was an opportunity for me to get more involved with industry experts to help with my role within animal health & welfare and for me to give something back to my community at the same time.

I grew up with and around horses and it was something that was missing in my life at that time.  Being part of the committee eased me back into the equine community and I now have my own horse again.

We are a very active committee here in the Borders and I rarely miss an event.  I usually help organise or facilitate events and welcome and assist our attendees. This can be anything from helping park vehicles, completing paperwork and discussing health and safety, helping with horses or simply chatting to people.

Ann Kennedy - BHS Volunteer

I’m Ann Kennedy and I have been a BHS volunteer for 15 years now. I have many roles, being the Chairman of the Eastern Region Committee, Bedfordshire Treasurer, and also Access and Bridleways Officer for Bedfordshire.

I started volunteering for the BHS when I retired as I wanted to try to help others enjoy riding out as much as I do.  The role is varied, for example in the last month I have responded to a consultation about improvements to the local National Cycle Route, pressing for equestrian access.

There is always more to do and the biggest challenge is prioritising and being able to stop.  But my view is that I do what I can, and that’s better than nothing!

I get great satisfaction from running pleasure rides and seeing the enjoyment on other people’s faces having had a fabulous ride out in the countryside.  I started with a ride from my own village, exploring the wonderful network I have on my doorstep. This has run for 8 years now and we had over 200 riders at the last one.  I also run a sponsored ride for the BHS and our local Air Ambulance on a private estate, which has raised a total of £32,000 over five rides. 

We’ve recently established another ride on the other side of the county which will run in May 2018 so riders can enjoy the bluebells in the woods.   I suppose this isn’t strictly an Access Officer’s role but to me it is spreading that enthusiasm for riding out that justifies the meetings and paperwork that is at the core of the role.

We have a great committee in Bedfordshire with lots of fun, enthusiastic committee members who all play a role in representing horse riders in our area.

Photo credit: www.waynejonesphotography.com

Ruth Baxter - Yorkshire Regional Chairman 

I’m Ruth Baxter, and I am a freelance instructor working in the equine industry. I became involved in the BHS education system when I was 16 and I have worked my way up to BHS Stage 5 Performance Coach level. 

I set up as a freelance instructor in 2011, moving back to South Yorkshire after training around the country. When I moved back I realised there wasn't much happening in my area from a BHS perspective. I chatted with our Regional Manager and the Chairman at the time and felt that the best way to help get the area more active and help to change things was by getting involved myself.

I have now been volunteering for almost 7 years. In that time I have progressed from being a Committee Member, through to being a local chair for South Yorkshire, and now on to being Regional Chairman for Yorkshire as well as an Education Officer for South Yorkshire.

If anyone is considering volunteering, or thinking they would like to see more happening in their area, I would urge you to get involved! Don't worry about the time commitment, just offer what you can - sometimes half an hour at your computer could be invaluable to us. You'll find out so much more about the BHS and hopefully have a great time.

When I started volunteering I thought I knew quite a lot about how the BHS worked. Over the last 7 years I have discovered so much more about what they do and how they work for the equestrian community! In my role as Regional Chairman, I am now invited to attend meetings at HQ to keep us updated on the latest developments and for a chance to have a say on regional and national issues.

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