A mother and son volunteering team find a way to give back

Matt and Glynis Dalley smile together as they volunteer at the RDA National Championships.
Matt and Glynis Dalley smile together as they volunteer at the RDA National Championships.

The benefits of volunteering are not limited to the individual, you can inspire others around you, even those within your own family. Glynis and Matt Dalley were first introduced into RDA when Matt was just six years old when he started as a rider. 

Nearly 25 years later, both Matt and Glynis are key members of the team at Scropton RDA in Derby and the North Midlands region, dedicating their time to make sure others can experience the magic of RDA, the same way Matt did. 

Matt helps out at the North Midlands Regional Qualifier at Countryside Challenge.

Meet Matt… 

I started riding with Scropton RDA when I was 6 and loved it. There were always lots of young people around helping me and the other riders and working with the horses. As I got older, I was determined that I wanted to do this too, and I worked hard to get me volunteer green card. I had great fun as a young volunteer in Scropton RDA’s Stable Club. I made lots of friends and learnt a lot about horses. One of the best things though was that I was helping, not just being the person who was helped! It really helped my confidence and I loved it! 

I began to develop an interest in social media and was able to put my computer skills to use for RDA, first for my group and then later for my RDA region, North Midlands, and for RDA UK. I love engaging with people through social media and promoting all the great things that happen in RDA.  

RDA has been a part of my life for nearly 25 years now. Volunteering is just as important to me as riding and I’m now Publicity Officer for the North Midlands region. I love being a part of the RDA family and have had some amazing opportunities both as a rider and volunteer! 

Glynis working at her desk behind the scenes at Scropton RDA.

Meet Glynis… 

My first encounter with RDA was when I brought my son Matt to visit the horses and to find out if he could start riding at our local group Scropton RDA. Little did I know when we were made welcome at that first visit how RDA would change our lives! 

Matt loved riding from the start and his older brother Chris got involved too. Before we knew where we were, we weren’t just going to Scropton for Matts lesson, but also for Chris to volunteer. Matt was keen to follow in his brother’s footsteps so I helped him get involved in some volunteer tasks and before I knew it, I’d signed up as a volunteer too! That was nearly 25 years ago and in the intervening years RDA has become a huge part of our family’s life, making a real difference to Matt as he grew up, and therefore also to us as a family. 

Volunteering at RDA has also been important to me. At a time when, as Matts carer, I couldn’t work, it gave me the opportunity to get involved in something really worthwhile, using my skills and enjoying being part of a team. Although I have learnt a lot about horses and riding and have been very involved in RDA activities, my bigger contribution has been in behind the scenes work. I have been a trustee at Scropton RDA for many years, and been heavily involved in all aspects of governance, admin, fundraising and more. I am involved in our RDA region organising our regional qualifiers and I’ve helped as a volunteer at the National Championships. 

Through all the various things I’ve done as an RDA volunteer, I’ve been warmly welcomed, met some amazing people, made some great friends and had some great times.