Olivia Sugdon - CEO


Olivia was introduced to Ride High in early 2019 through a friend, at a time Ride High were looking for Non-Executive Directors. The pro bono board work appealed, as she could “give back” and be part of a team who helped disadvantaged children using equines as part of their experience. The ethos of Ride High, and the use of horses to help children felt second nature, given Olivia’s long affinity with horses, having ridden from a small child to present day, in addition to also having a child of her own. A degree in Agriculture at Reading University led Olivia to start working in the sector, but the onset of BSE rerouted her through to starting a sales career in the Pharmaceutical world. Within a few years, Medical Devices became the niche sector where the next 15 years of her career were spent. During this time Olivia worked not only in Sales & Marketing in the UK and Internationally, but also in Senior Management Roles. When not at work Olivia can be found at home with her partner Ed, son, Larry, two Spaniels, Horses, chickens and a cat!



Jayne Clent - Centre Manager


My roles within the education sector for the local authority have enabled me to support children and families across Milton Keynes for the past 18 years. My passion for delivering the best outcomes for children started in the early years. With a degree in early education, I understand that fulfillment of potential is dependent on wellbeing. My belief that a person's future should not be determined by their past, led to a 10 year career in Children's and Family Centre's, during which time I witnessed many families overcome a variety of challenges and make positive changes to their lives. I consider myself to be extremely fortunate to be part of the Ride High team and to continue to be part of the transformation of young lives.



Hannah Thompson - Children's Manager


I joined Ride High as a Club Leader, working with groups of members in their riding lessons and clubroom sessions. Now as the Children"s Manager I still have the pleasure of working with groups but also play a part in making sure Ride High is reaching the children who need us most, through maintaining relationships with referrers, parents and carers, managing the waiting list and monitoring the progress of those attending sessions. We have a wonderful team here, all of us working together to help our members change their lives.

Animals have always been an essential part of my life and in the past I"ve worked as a class teacher and as an educator for a conservation charity. It is fantastic to be able to bring both of these things together at Ride High and the rewards of working with the children and young people we help are huge.



Mark Robbins - Club Leader


My name is Mark and I am one of the Club Leaders here at Ride High. I have the fortunate pleasure of supporting our young people during riding lessons, and working closely together during clubroom sessions. I came to Ride High because I’m passionate about helping young people discover their potential, build confidence within themselves, and become confident working as part of a group. I now have the fantastic opportunity to not only work with the horses, but also to continue to work with young people which I’ve done for over 20 years in different types of environments. Nothing can compare to the sheer joy of seeing our young people grow as individuals and flourish.



Jackie Taylor - Club Leader


As a club leader I work closely with the children, supporting them with their riding and in the clubroom. I enjoy working with the children, getting to know them, helping them to develop new skills and watching their confidence grow. I have been working with young people for over 10 years in various positions and also have experience of working with animals having worked as an educator for a conservation charity. Working for Ride High has enabled me to combine by passions for education and animals.



Gabi Sampson - Club Leader


Being a Club Leader at Ride High allows me to work closely with young people and support them during their riding lessons and during the clubroom sessions. Having already worked in the charity sector, I chose to join the team at Ride High so I could continue supporting children and young people, while being able to work alongside horses. For me, the best thing about working with young people is getting to know their individual personalities and watching them develop and grow in confidence as they learn new skills.



Helen Dixon - Group Fundraising and Marketing Manager


At Ride High I work to raise awareness of the charity and to generate funds so we can continue to support vulnerable children. My role is extremely varied and includes grant writing, sponsorship and fundraising events, liaison and partnerships within the corporate community, managing our marketing and communications channels and content creation. One of the most enjoyable and rewarding aspects of my role is to speak with our members about how their time at Ride High has helped them. They share their experiences and allow me to create stories and short films so we can illustrate the impact Ride High has on young lives. The children are amazing, and it’s a privilege to work for a charity that plays a significant role in their lives.

I have worked at Ride High for over six years now, prior to this I spent 10 years in marketing and events in the education sector. People are often surprised to learn that I don't ride horses! I enjoy saying hello to them each morning on my way into the office, and I see the positive impact they have on the children every week, and that's enough for me. At home waiting for me is my four-legged friend Pip the border collie! 



Midge Blake - Grants Officer


Midge joined Ride High as Grants Officer in July 2022. Midge is thrilled to be able to contribute her many years of fundraising experience for a variety of national and local charities into a cause that is very close to her heart. Midge has been lucky enough to have ridden, owned, and cared for a number of horses in the past and is married to Alan, an Engineer who is also a trained equine podiatrist (think caring for horses’ feet without shoes!). Nowadays, it is her border collie x cocker spaniel who keeps her well-exercised on lovely walks around Milton Keynes, and on weekends away in beautiful places in her motorhome. Midge is passionate about the power of nature and animals to make a difference to our mental health and is studying for a part-time PhD in this area with the University of Nottingham.



Sam Ball - Business Development Manager


My name is Sam and I’m the Business Development Manager at Ride High. My role involves establishing and sustaining partnerships with schools and agencies, with referrals to our programme. This includes sourcing funding streams to support the work of the charity. I also work with businesses to raise awareness of what we do. This could be a business having us as their charity of the year, supporting us with funding projects and volunteer days at the Centre. All of this work helps generate income to continue supporting 80 of Milton Keynes most disadvantaged children every week. I have 19 years experience in supporting children and families within the education sector and I am passionate about transforming the lives of young people. I have always loved animals and it is amazing to see the positive connection the children have with the horses, during their time at Ride High. If your business, school, or agency would like to work in partnership with us, please get in touch.



Susan Mears - Office Coordinator


I have been working with pre-school children and those with special needs as a qualified practitioner and Sen Co-ordinator for the last 10 years. I saw an exciting opportunity to work at Ride High and was at the stage in my life where I needed a change and a new challenge. Although I’m office based I love seeing how this charity transforms children’s lives and seeing the happy faces every day when they arrive is lovely and makes me feel proud to work here. I knew about how animals can help children with the difficulties in their lives but seeing it first hand is amazing.



Helen Fine - Driver




Max Sadri - Driver


Children we help each week


Total children we have helped so far



How many years we have been running


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