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The role of the Executive Committee is to support members in their training and professional development, to promote ACPEA Physiotherapists both in the UK and Internationally.

Chairman and HETI Representative - Nona Dane 

Nona has been a member of this special interest group since 2013 when she was a student on the ACPTR hippotherapy course. She took up the role of Professional Affairs Officer in 2014 and represented ACPTR and then CPTRH at various meetings, as well as giving advice and support to the members. After serving nine years on the committee, she had a twelve-month break but continued as regional representative for the South-Central region. In 2022, she re-joined the ACPEA committee as Vice Chairman.

Following completion of her hippotherapy training in 2014 Nona left her NHS role as a highly specialised paediatric physiotherapist, to start up her Equine Facilitated Practice from home in Buckinghamshire. She continues to offer hippotherapy sessions to children and young people with various conditions. Nona is keen to maintain good links with the RDA, having helped as a volunteer on and off since 1977, and is now an active RDA coach with the Maidensgrove group of the RDA. She is regional physiotherapist for the Southern Region and has visited many centres across southern England delivering training and giving advice to coaches.

Nona is a member of the European Equine Facilitated Therapy Network and has attended international meetings and participates in regular online meetings as the lead in the “Best Practice subgroup”. Regarding the future of ACPEA, Nona is keen to continue to work closely with the committee to ensure that high quality education is provided for members and peer support given whenever needed. She very much appreciates the work undertaken by committee members.

Email: chair@acpea.org


Treasurer - Jennie Wilkinson 

Jennie is a Chartered Physiotherapist and has worked in the NHS and independent sectors since qualifying in 2009, working with both adults and children. She has always loved horses and enjoyed eventing through her teens and early twenties. Over the past two years she has made the move to bring horses more into her working life. She is a group coach with Belvoir Vale RDA, East Midlands RDA Regional Physiotherapist and is currently a student on the Equine Facilitated Therapy Course at Ulster University. Jennie was elected to the Committee in July 2022 and volunteered for the role of Treasurer, taking over from Fiona Hainsworth. She is hoping to set up her own equine facilitated physiotherapy practice in Nottinghamshire on successful completion of her course next summer.

Email: admin@acpea.org 


Secretary - Elspeth O'Donnell 

Email: secretary@acpea.org 


Research Officer- Victoria Warburton MSc MCSP

Victoria is a Chartered Physiotherapist; qualifying in 1992. She worked in the NHS and private sector in the UK, following which she  spent nearly ten years working in the USA in Chicago and Washington DC clinically and educationally.  It was there that she was introduced to hippotherapy as an intervention used in physiotherapy and worked as a volunteer for several years. Victoria then completed her training as a hippotherapist at Aberdeen university in the UK. Since returning to the North East in the UK, her career has been eclectic and rewarding; working as a senior lecturer at York St John university and running her own private practice in hippotherapy and traditional physiotherapy. Having a strong interest in research combined with her educational background Victoria was elected research officer 2 years ago. Aiming to support members and colleagues to drive the evidenced based aspect of ACPEA using the science to underpin the art of rehabilitation medicine/ physiotherapy using the equine. She has had a great passion for horses since childhood, having owned, competed and generally enjoyed being around horses. It was therefore a natural progression after 25 years of physiotherapy practice to combine her work with her passion for all things equine. She has passed on her passion of riding horses over to her daughter, who has now caught the bug just as much as her!

Email: vicwarb@hotmail.com


Regional Officer Co-ordinator - Rachel Shaw 

Rachel qualified as a Physiotherapist in 1989 from The Liverpool School of Physiotherapy and has been working within the speciality of paediatrics since 2000. She completed the hippotherapy course in early 2016 and set up her own practice in 2019. Her involvement with RDA started approximately 12 years ago, but has been more consistent over the past three years. Rachel has recently started her RDA coach training. She works very closely with RDA Rossington Hall Group near Doncaster, where she runs her hippotherapy sessions. Rachel is also a trustee for this particular group. Rachel has owned her own ponies for fourteen years, but she has been fascinated by horses from a young age.

Email: rockinghorse.physiotherapy@outlook.com


International Affairs Officer - Vacant Post 



Committee Member and Member of PR Subcommittee- Hannah Balderson

Hannah qualified in Physiotherapy from the University of Nottingham in 2010. After doing her rotations, she fell into specialising in Learning Disabilities by doing a 3 month locum placement that became a 6.5 year permanent position! She is currently working as a Band 7 Physiotherapist in the NHS Camden Learning Disability Team and has completed a postgraduate diploma in Postural Management for people with Complex Disabilities at the Oxford Brookes University. Hannah always had a passion for horses and loves to ride. Being able to combine knowledge of working with people with complex disabilities and horses feels like a dream come true. Hannah was able to complete a year of voluntary work in hippotherapy and therapeutic riding in the UK, Argentina and Tennesse. She has completed the CPTRH hippotherapy course and has recently started running her own hippotherapy sessions through her local RDA group in Buckinghamshire. Hannah is excited to join the ACPEA committee to help raise the profile of ACPEA. 

Email: hannah.balderson@gmail.com


Committee Member - Gillian Bingham

Email: gillianbingham@googlemail.com


Committee Member- Gilean Docherty

Gilean was first introduced to RDA and Hippotherapy in 1979 when she started working at Gogarburn Hospital on the outskirts of Edinburgh. This was a hospital with permanent residents with Physical and Learning difficulties. The hospital had its own RDA Group run by the head Physiotherapist – Pat Veall. They had up to 5 ponies kept on the hospital grounds and they were used for RDA sessions and “treatments” (it was not known as Hippotherapy then.)These hippotherapy treatments were part of the physiotherapy programme for the Gogarburn patients . Gilean learned a lot from Pat in these early days and she was certainly one of the Physiotherapists who pushed Hippotherapy into the fore in Scotland. Over the next 10 years Gilean was involved as Physio and Coach in a new RDA group in the Scotland region. After a period away from RDA due to less time with family growing up, Gilean was approached in 2007 by Eric Mckechnie to become a Classifier for Para Riders. Through this Gilean became involved with the Scottish Para Riders Group and worked with them at training events. Gilean also was approached by West and Central Scotland RDA to become Regional Physiotherapist – a post she still holds. As a physiotherapist Gilean has worked mainly in the Musculoskeletal field both in NHS and Private Sector. Working with elite athletes including the Scottish Swimming Team and for Sport Scotland with Individual Athletes. Gilean is now Semi retired but still does the occasional clinic, Moving and Handling Training and Risk Assessments for disabled children in schools. Outside of work her interest is riding, competing and breeding Highland ponies. Gilean still competes at Riding Club events, TREC and Showing.

Email: gileandocherty@gmail.com


Committee Member and Member of PR Subcommittee: Vicky Fudge 

Email: vfudge@hotmail.co.uk