Progress Update and Announcement of Independent Review
As part of our ongoing commitment to openness, and in the best interest of Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), the Board today announces an independent review into recent events.
On 23 March 2023, the board of RDA received a formal complaint from a group of volunteers. In the days following, the newly arrived CEO, Kathryn England, and then the chair of trustees, Rachel Medill, resigned.
On Friday, 31 March, several members of the Board met representatives of the complainants to better understand their concerns.
Having reviewed the complaint, subsequent events and the results of the meeting the Board has resolved to commission an external review of the key issues raised by the complaint and subsequent resignations, so that independent recommendations can be made. Further information on the scope of the review will be made available once it has been finalised. Meanwhile, the Board has committed to publishing the central findings and acting on them.
Frances Lochrane, Acting Chair, said: “The Board is absolutely committed to upholding the highest standards and values of RDA. We are commissioning an independent review of recent events to help us identify the steps required to take RDA forward in a way that best serves RDA as a whole and our ongoing work providing life-changing experiences for disabled children and adults across the UK.”
“In line with our code of conduct and commitment to excellence, we believe that openness is the best way forward for all involved in RDA. This is why we have decided on an independent review. We will update on the scope of the review once it is agreed, and we will publish the central findings. Given the importance of this work, we encourage all those with an interest in RDA to respect and support the review. We recognise that people will have questions. However, we do not believe it would be right to comment further at this point, as it would be wrong to influence or prejudge the findings.”
“We would once again like to thank our staff, supporters and volunteers for their commitment to delivering exceptional support to our participants and member groups.”
The recent departures were significant, and the complaint is something the Board has taken very seriously. The Board originally self-referred concerns raised through our formal complaints process. Having subsequently received a formal complaint, met the complainants to understand their concerns and considered the issues carefully, the Board is now commissioning an independent review to be led by the investigations team at Narrow Quay HR*. The Board remains absolutely committed to taking RDA forward as a stronger organisation. This approach reflects the desire of the Board to learn any and all lessons that enable it to navigate challenges and deliver a successful future.
RDA will keep everyone informed of the review process and ensure transparency of its central findings. We will provide an update on the scope of the review once finalised. RDA has kept its regulator informed of these issues over the past few months and continues to do so.
RDA remains solid and financially stable. We remain focussed on delivering business as usual, and continual improvement to the services and support we provide. Our overarching mission is alive and well, and we’ll continue to support our amazing network of 438 Groups delivering life changing impact to the disabled community.
*Narrow Quay HR is the trading name of Narrow Quay Consulting Limited, the investigations and HR consulting arm of legal services group VWV, which includes Veale Wasbrough Vizards LLP, the law firm responsible for providing RDA with legal support. Narrow Quay Consulting Limited is a distinct legal entity, which operates separately from Veale Wasbrough Vizards to run independent investigations using clearly delineated systems and teams.’
• There is no further comment at this stage
• We have kept our regulator informed of these issues over the past few months and continue to do so.