Riding for the Disabled – Wilton
The centre in Wilton, Wiltshire originally started through rehabilitation of wounded servicemen in 1942 and now, on a dedicated site on the Pembroke Estate, supports over 140 riders through a team of over 200 volunteers.
Unlike most of the large RDA centres, riding at Wilton had always been free. The costs of running and maintaining the centre were at 80k per annum and Trustees felt that to maintain the centre for future generations, they would need to consider charging for rides.
insight6 were asked to gather insight on rider and volunteer perceptions of the centre and the potential impact the introduction of charges would have.
We conducted rider and volunteer surveys and telephone interviews with partner schools before presenting the insight at their annual general meeting.
Following the meeting Alex Hill, Chair of Trustees told us… ’there was lots of good feedback, and many of the volunteers who were there to vote against future charging at the Centre - having heard the ‘evidence’ in the survey, changed their minds and are now on side. A great result.’
Through choosing to work with an independent partner RDA Wilton demonstrated that they were committed to hearing the views of riders and volunteers and acting upon the feedback.
It allowed stakeholders to voice their opinions freely, opening lines of communication and enabling the Trustees to plan the future of the centre based on evidence rather than assumptions.
Alex said ‘We were so grateful for all your input. It made us think really clearly about what our objectives are. We are not only clear about the evidence on charging our riders now - but much more besides. The survey, for us, absolutely did the job we hoped it would do. We start charging our riders for a contribution towards the ride in September 2019. But most of the individual riders are now aware that we need money to run the centre, and have started voluntary payments this term. Amazing.’