The RDA UK Board are delighted to announce the appointment if three new members, Ellie Orton, Rachel Vaughan-Johns and Simon Bragg.
The Board have also confirmed that Frances Lochrane will act as Interim Chair, stepping up from her role as Deputy Chair.
“I am pleased to confirm that three new members, Ellie Orton, Rachel Vaughan-Johns and Simon Bragg have joined the Board at RDA. These appointments reflect a desire by the Board to learn from issues raised, reset relationships and are a first step in ensuring a positive future for everyone involved in RDA. All three bring a fantastic range of skills, fresh ideas and talents to RDA, but most of all they share our collective passion for the incredible work our staff and volunteers do to help our participants.
“The whole Board recognises that the past week has not been easy; we hope that these appointments demonstrate our commitment to the future as we return to business as usual and deliver a period of stability. We would personally like to thank our amazing staff and volunteers for their diligence and continued hard work in support of RDA.”
New Board Members
Rachel will be familiar to many of our RDA family. She is a long standing supporter and volunteer at RDA, having first volunteered in Hong Kong in 1995. After her return to the UK, she became a coach at Lackham RDA Group in 1999, then becoming Group Organiser. Rachel was subsequently appointed Wiltshire County Chair and took over the Mid West Regional Chair position in 2019. She is also currently Group Coach at Warminster RDA.
The daughter of a naval family, she travelled and lived overseas throughout her childhood. She is a keen sports player, still actively playing hockey for the Local Ladies 1st Team, sails competitively in dinghies and in yachts, and is currently racing dinghies and has competed in class National Championships for the last 4 years. She swam the distance of the English Channel during the first lockdown to raise funds for RDA.
Ellie is passionate about RDA and has been involved at Lowlands RDA for 10 years where her autistic daughter rides weekly. As someone who grew up in the area, Ellie even had dressage lessons at Lowlands as a young person herself when she was in the Pony Club. Although, at her own admission, this is not something she excelled at.
Ellie brings 30 years of working and leading in the Voluntary Sector and is currently the Chief Executive of NHS Charities Together, the national charity caring for the NGS and membership body to the UK’s NHS charities. She was at the helm of the charity’s Covid-19 urgent appeal in 2020, which raised £160m to support NHS staff, volunteers, and patients impacted by the pandemic. Ellie was awarded Outstanding Individual Achievement Award by the Charity Times in 2021, the Outstanding Achievement Award 2021 by APM, and an OBE by Her Majesty The Queen for her contribution to the NHS during Covid.
Simon is an experienced financial services executive, entrepreneur, investor, trustee, director and philanthropist. He is Founder and Chief Executive of JSB Energy Partners Limited and a Non-Executive Director of Intralink Group. In January 2017, Simon was appointed as an Ambassador for SBSA and to Riding for the Disabled Association fundraising committee.
Simon’s extensive experience working with charities includes becoming trustee of the Royal Engineers Vocational and Educational Training Trust as the only non-military and independent trustee. Simon has also set up The London Leg Up Fund, a charitable fund to help young people in London. The Fund provides a “Leg-up” to young people who want to succeed and get on at something, but don’t have all the skills, polish or wherewithal. Simon has also supported LocalGiving in a great initiative – LondonGiving – to assist and train small local organisations and charities to raise funds and become more effective and sustainable. This has enabled over 200 groups all across London to become much more effective as charities or support groups, as well as providing them directly with over £30,000 in funding that they otherwise wouldn’t have had.