The Pony Club members’ third party liability insurance continues to cover all of our members (including branch, centre and centre plus members) for their use or ownership of a horse or pony, in exactly the same way as normal.
As always, the welfare of our horses and ponies is a priority. Please ensure you make a contingency plan for looking after your animals if you fall ill or are unable to get to the stables / field. The RDA has produced some useful advice in association with World Horse Welfare and they are happy for us to share these practical and useful tips; https://www.myrda.org.uk/assets/CORONAVIRUS-EMERGENCY-PLANNING-FOR-EQUINES-March-2020-V1-PDF-1.pdf
A reminder that all membership is now on a rolling 12 month basis. If you join now you will get a full year's membership.
During the past few challenging months, The Pony Club Branches and Centres have continued to offer lots of activities that can be done within the Government guidelines. Where face to face activity has been temporarily suspended, Branches and Centres are running leagues, quizzes, fun competitions, online learning and video sharing amongst other activities, to keep members busy and engaged.
The Pony Club insurance is still very much an essential part of the membership fee and continues to cover members for third party liability, whether being ridden at a Pony Club activity or at home.
We understand this is a difficult time financially for many of our members and as a registered charity we too are being prudent with the funds we have left to support members. To ensure The Pony Club is still here when this crisis is all over and so that we can provide activities for all our members we are not refunding or extending membership.
You are required to continue with 12-month equine flu injections to participate in Pony Club activities.
At competitions for Area Level and above including Grass Roots Regional Championships and the finals of the Spring Festival competitions, the most recent booster injection must have been given within the 6 calendar months prior to the date of the competition.
Help and Advice for Branches and Centres
We all want to return to normality, but we are not there yet. The Pony Club continues to follow Government advice and we ask that we all maintain responsibility for the safety of ourselves and others around us. We are providing regular updates to all members, branches and centres in the CEO Updates, which can be viewed here.
Below we share answers to frequently asked questions to provide you with the latest information.
If you have an immediate concern about a child please call the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or your local police on 101 or visit: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/coronavirus-advice-suppport-children-families-parents
Coaches and officials need to keep disclosures up to date. Please contact your branch or centre to help with this as they hold the login details. There will not be any support for DBS applications available from the office during the furlough period.
- DBS: You can renew your DBS check through the online portal offered by Disclosure Services. Disclosure Services are working on a smaller team and priority is going towards applications for key workers. However, they are still processing all applications through the online portal. Please contact them directly on their helpline with any queries you have. Tel: 01978 510100, Email: email@example.com.
- PVG: Disclosure Scotland are currently prioritising applications for essential sectors including: healthcare, pharmaceutical, childcare, social work, social care and prisons & justice. All other applications may be delayed during this period.
- Access NI: You can renew your ANI check through the online portal.
As with the disclosure checks there are no extensions for safeguarding qualifications. For those looking to renew safeguarding training this can now be done online during the current restrictions (including when you would have previously needed a face-to-face session). There is a discussion at the moment about how long this training will be valid for: if you would normally have been due the online refresher, this will be valid for the normal three years, if the online course is replacing a face-to-face session then it will be valid for 18 months in the first instance. This is because you may then be in the situation of going 6 years between face-to-face sessions, which is not being advised. I will keep you updated on this. To book onto the online Safeguarding Course, please go to the PCUK events page here.
As a result of the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 and the impact on face-to-face training, we have been in discussion with the BHS and agreed a consistent approach for our coaches and first aid requirements:
Whilst all coaches and first aiders should make every attempt to keep their first aid qualification in date, we appreciate that under current restrictions, this has been very difficult for some. Therefore:
- The expiry date for first aid on the PELHAM database will be extended to 31st August 2021.
- An online refresher is available through the BHS, which is certified for 2 years. This is not suitable for anyone without initial first aid training, they must attend a face to face session.
- The online course will cost £95 and is available by contacting the BHS Accredited Professional Team, Monday to Thursday: 8.35am-5pm, Friday: 8.35am-3.00pm, Telephone: 02476 840565, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Many thanks to the BHS for allowing us access to this training.
A reminder that The Pony Club definition of a "Trained First Aider" is a person who holds either Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) or the BHS Initial First Aid qualification. A Trained First Aider is required to be present at all Pony Club rallies and practices. The First Aid Matrix in the Health and Safety Rule book defines when a higher level of qualification is required, for example a “Qualified First Aider” - a person who holds the First Aid at Work (FAW) three day course.
The CPD expiry date has also been extended to 31st March 2021. In addition, the Training Committee has agreed that CPD can be undertaken online provided you can participate with live interaction and have an element of self-reflection. CPD has to be approved by the Area Rep, who will consult with the Chair of the Training Committee before it will be recognised as an official Pony Club CPD.
Online learning is becoming the new normal and as we become more adept at using the range of platforms available, we need to remember our safeguarding training, the security of the platform and any age restrictions in place.
Centrally our team are using Microsoft Teams to connect virtually, but we are aware many of you are turning to the Zoom platform to deliver or access online training and coaching. There are many documents available to help you navigate how to use Zoom, but we thought we would share a document created internally on best practice and top tips to help you get set up. You can view this here
Please ensure you are not communicating with young people if they are not of the correct age to use a platform, it is vital that parents or guardians are informed of all communication taking place, to protect both parties. Standard Safeguarding practice is that no adult should be having direct private contact with U18s. Contact from Area Reps, DCs , Proprietors and Coaches should be made to the parent. Please also note that WhatsApp has a minimum age of 16 and displays users’ numbers.
The wider equestrian community
For more information on how the other equestrian member bodies are coping with this situation, please visit the British Equestrian Federation website, www.bef.co.uk
The Government's Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage is frequently updated as things develop, so please check it regularly at www.gov.uk/coronavirus
For the latest Government guidance on sports and recreational activities, specifically riding, please check here: www.gov.uk/coronavirus