Warm tributes are being paid to Wendy Howe, who has stepped down after 19 years’ loyal and unstinting service as Chairman of the Helen Atkin Group, RDA in Buxton.
Wendy – whose proudest achievement in the role has been to spearhead fundraising for a £151,000 covered arena for the group’s riders at Buxton Riding School – is leaving the High Peak to start a new chapter of her life in North Yorkshire.
She is succeeded as Chairman by Janine Frost, the group’s former secretary, who said: “Wendy has put so much effort and energy into the role over the years that she will be an extremely hard act to follow.
“She has steered the group from small beginnings, with a handful of riders and a few horses, to a large-scale operation catering for many more riders spanning all age groups and abilities, some of who have successfully competed in the RDA’s regional and national Countryside Challenge competitions in recent years.
“Latterly, she has been the driving force behind our latest project, to provide a superbly-equipped, state-of-the art covered arena so that our riders can enjoy lessons whatever the weather, which we are hoping will be ready to open later this year.
“Wendy’s hard work and dedication has helped us to achieve our dream by securing funding from, and steering a crowdfunding appeal with, Sport England, successfully applying for grants from several other sources and enlisting the support of a variety of local and national businesses and organisations.
“Everyone at Helen Atkin Group RDA will very much miss her enthusiasm, drive and sense of humour, and we all wish her all the very best as she begins a new phase in her life in North Yorkshire.”
Added Wendy: ”It is with great sadness that I have officially stood down as Group Chairman after 19 years. I have worked with an amazing bunch of enthusiastic people. We have shared a vision of how we can improve people’s lives, but it is now time to hand over the reins to the next person.
“I wish Janine Frost all the very best in her new role Group Chairman, and welcome Karen King as Group Secretary. Janette Sykes will increase her publicity role to present the Group’s public face and Deborah Ward has very kindly offered to lead on fundraising.
“I am sad to be leaving, but very proud of what the group has achieved so far, and also of the ideas and enthusiasm the group has for the future.”