It is with great sadness that we announce the separate resignations of both Kathryn England, CEO and Rachel Medill, Chair of Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA). We know that this news will come as a shock to many of you, particularly given Kathryn’s recent appointment and it clearly creates a challenge for all of us within RDA.
Over the past few months, it has become increasingly apparent that there has been a significant difference of opinion and concern around changes that have been made and the approach to change taken within RDA over the past couple of years. Unfortunately, although for varying reasons, this difference of opinion has led to the decisions by both Kathryn, last week, and subsequently Rachel this week, to step down. The Board is now considering the issues at hand with urgency and developing an action plan. The Board is committed to understanding this challenge in full and to learn any lessons about how we take RDA forward. We will keep everyone informed of developments.
In the meantime, we are looking to appoint Neil Goldie-Scot as the Interim Chair and have asked Lincoln Clarke to pick up leadership responsibility in the meantime. We are holding a Board meeting on Thursday and will update on progress on Friday.
Neil Goldie-Scot, prospective Interim Chair, said: “This is a very difficult day for RDA and it is incredibly sad that we are losing Kathryn England and Rachel Medill. We want to recognise the incredible work and commitment of our staff and volunteers and we want to apologise to all of you for the concern this is causing. As a Board we are absolutely committed to resolving our differences and building solid foundations for the future, and we will learn from any issues raised. RDA remains an incredible organisation and we will get through this difficult period to ensure we can continue to deliver our mission and support so many people who benefit from the work we do.”
Kathryn England said: “It is with huge regret that I have resigned as Chief Executive Officer of RDA UK. You all know that I took up this role with real pride and enthusiasm. However, I have decided that I am not the person to take the organisation forward at this time. I have met with the Board who, whilst are deeply saddened by my decision, have listened at length and taken my feedback seriously and I am pleased to hear that they are taking forward an action plan.”
Rachel Medill said: “After nearly 2 years it is with great sadness that I have informed the Board of Trustees of my decision to resign as chair of RDA UK. I joined at a time of great challenge in the aftermath of the pandemic but also of great opportunity as the organisation looked to increase its number of participants. I’m proud of the steps we took to build a foundation for its long term future and I hope that the forward looking approach the board has taken will continue.
“I want to pay tribute to the extraordinary nature of RDA – it improves the lives of thousands of people every day through the efforts of over 13,000 people. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to meet so many of these inspiring people and I wish the organisation every success in the future.”
• There is no additional comment at this stage
• We have informed our President, HRH Princess Anne
• Over the course of today we are informing staff and volunteers within the RDA family, and our key stakeholders
• We have also kept our regulator informed of these issues over the past few months and continue to do so.