Latest News from The Bays

Sunday 7 March

Our thanks to the following local businesses who now have collection boxes for public donations to support our work:

  • Bredfield Village Shop, The Street, Bredfield, Woodbridge, IP13 6AX
  • Grange Farm Shop, Grundisburgh Road, Woodbridge, IP13 6HN
  • Happy Horse Equestrian Supplies, Potash Farm, Woodbridge IP12 1LJ
  • Melton Produce, Melton Road, Woodbridge, IP12 1NZ
  • New Street Bakehouse, 21 New St, Woodbridge, IP12 1DY
Thanks also to Otley Stores (Chapel Road, Otley, IP6 9NT) who recently presented us with £182 donated by their customers.

Monday 15 February

Sadly we have said goodbye to another of our equine team, Maddie, after a recurrent infection which, with the support of our vets, we had been treating for the last few months.
Maddie was 22 years old and had been with us since 2017. Previous to this, she had been a successful children's riding pony and regularly attended competitions, she was very well bred. This earlier experience put her in good stead for working within RDA as she wasn't fazed by much and loved attention.
All equines in RDA work are very special; they must demonstrate an extraordinary level of empathy and understanding which is naturally suited to older equines. Of course this means they often see their final years with us. For all associated with our Group, this explanation may help us to accept losing two equines in a short space of time.

Tuesday 19 January

We are delighted to report that installation of our horse walker started today. Fundraising to purchase the horse walker was a key ambition for this financial year, but this looked very much in doubt as the impact of Covid-19 restrictions forced us to concentrate our fundraising efforts on meeting the costs necessary to ensure the future of the group. However, thanks to your extraordinarily generous support for our Big Give Christmas Challenge appeal we will soon be using the horse walker to help keep our fabulous RDA horses fit and at a healthy weight. A fit and happy horse is a safe horse for our disabled riders and drivers.  Current ground conditions at The Bays (evident from he photo) and the enforced break from work for our horses due to the current lockdown mean that this could not have come at a better time. Thank you all again for your support.

Sunday 10 January

Congratulation to Steve Crawford who placed the winning bid in the auction for a commission from Helen April Art in aid of the RDA Woodbridge Group! Here is his painting of Patrick and Murphy. We raised £450. Thank you again Steve.

Friday 8 January

It is with great sadness that we report that our dear horse Inca was put to sleep earlier today due to age-related health issues. She was 26 years old.

Inca had been with our Group for eight years and had given so much joy to so many clients, volunteers and staff alike.

It takes a very special horse to work successfully within the RDA and we were truly blessed to have such an extraordinary horse in our team. Our clients and volunteers have many happy memories of Inca, she will be sorely missed.

Inca 1994 - 2021

Thursday 7 January

Following the recent lockdown announcement by the government The Bays will be closed to all but essential visitors until further notice. We have taken this decision in line with current government regulations and advice from RDA UK.

We will not be taking bookings until we have a clear idea of when we can reopen and what activities we are able to offer.

We know the closure of our group is a disappointment to everyone involved in RDA. We thank you for your patience and understanding and for the tremendous support you have given us over the past year.

Thursday 10 December

A group from Wot’s Up Day Centre have been learning to groom this week as part of our new activities which allow our participants to learn about caring for their horses and ponies, contributing to the RDA Proficiency Certificates and Endeavour Awards (part of the national RDA Education ‘Learning through Horses, Learning for Life’ programme). These mark and celebrate achievement at all levels of ability.

Thanks to funding from East Suffolk Communities Partnership we have been able to purchase grooming and stable equipment that is used exclusively for these activities  and can be easily sanitised between sessions. 

Tuesday 8 December

Having participated in the BigGive Christmas Challenge last week, we can now announce that this raised the amazing sum of £9,375 to install a Mechanical Horse Walker to help keep our horses and ponies fit throughout the year. Work is planned to start mid-January 2021.
A huge thank you to everyone who contributed and helped spread the word about our appeal. The matched funding for donations generously contributed by Anderson Kitchens and Bathrooms, Megahart Developments Ltd. and Candis Club along with the addition of gift aid from UK taxpayers boosted public donations to this incredible sum.

Tuesday 1 December

Poppy Ferrar has been volunteering at RDA (Woodbridge and District) for the past 3 years. She knows just how much our clients enjoy their time with us and just how much we rely on our volunteers and the fundraising that they do on our behalf.

Poppy has decided that she wants to help to raise money to support our work and has chosen 18 walks around Suffolk totalling just over 100 miles accompanied by her four-legged companion Rhubarb. If you would like to support Poppy & Rhubarb please head over to their fundraising page.

Mon 23 November

This year we are taking part in The Big Give Christmas Challenge to raise funds for a Horse Walker. Starting at midday on 1 December until midday on 8 December we are calling on your amazing support to raise £3,780 – which will then be matched to raise an incredible £ 7,560, thanks to generous pledges from local businesses and our Big Give funding champion Candis Club. This means that there is no better time to donate than during the Christmas Challenge, when your donation has twice the impact.
To double your donations to our Horse Walker Appeal, please visit our Big Give Christmas Challenge donation page. Your donations will only be eligible for match giving if you donate via our online Big Give donation page between the above dates.

Sat 14 November

Congratulations to Glenny Stone who was presented with a BBC local radio Make a Difference Award on Friday's Mark Murphy breakfast show on Radio Suffolk, in recognition her fund raising efforts earlier this year. Glenny made and sold face coverings raising over £1,500 for us.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic BBC local radio stations have been recording stories and working alongside some fantastic people who have given to their community; people who are trying to make a difference. To celebrate this BBC local radio stations are hosting awards to say "Thank You".

Thu 12 November

For over 40 years Woodbridge 41 Club have organised a Charity Christmas Card shop in Woodbridge for over 40 years. Every year they raise funds for nearly 20 different charities including ourselves, the shop is run by volunteers and all of the proceeds go to charity. Unfortunately the current lockdown means the shop is now closed.

Undaunted however they have launched a click-and-collect service. Cards can be ordered via their website: Please do take a look. They are open, for collection only, between 11 am and noon, every day except Sunday at Unit 2, Deben Wharf, Tide Mill Way, Woodbridge IP1 1FP.

Thu 22 October

Calling all riding and driving participants. Have you been painting drawing, making collages or sculptures, textile or embroidery creations or even taking a great photograph of your time at Woodbridge and District RDA?
If you would like to enter our Arts & Crafts Competition send a photograph of your art work to by the 11th December 2020. The competition will be judged by Heather Campbell our Regional Coach and the winner’s prize will be awarded before Christmas. All the entries will be displayed on our website and social media and you will be in with the chance of winning a crocheted RDA pony of your choice or a years sponsorship of one of our horses.

Sat 10 October

We were very pleased to get our first two riders back in the saddle. Sisters Hope and Paige have been attending training along with the family who are now able to assist with leading and side walking so that they can ride safely while our coaches and volunteers can adhere to social distancing requirements.

This is part of a staged return to riding sessions and is a great start to expanding on the popular Pony Time sessions that we are running 5 mornings a week for our regular participants.

Weds 23 September

In the balmy, sunny days of early August we launched ‘Pony Time’, offering our regular participants the opportunity to visit The Bays and spend time with their favourite horse or pony.

It's been a big hit with all of those attending, including the horses and ponies who just love the attention (not to mention the carrots and apples). 

Supported by funding from Active Suffolk we have purchased equipment to allow us to move this activity into our fabulous indoor arena so we can continue as the autumn and winter weather arrives.