A YOUNG member of Haworth Riding for the Disabled has won a national honour.

T-jay Wilson, from Keighley, has received the RDA Young Volunteer Award.

He was presented with his accolade by broadcaster Clare Balding at a glittering ceremony in London.

VIP guests at the event – in Draper’s Hall – also included Alastair Stewart, of ITN News, and former racing driver Damon Hill.

This year’s RDA Gala Awards took on extra significance, as the charity celebrated its 50th anniversary.

T-jay, 14, was among four award recipients.

A short film was shown about each winner, before they took to the stage to chat to Ms Balding and collect their trophies.

Jackie Butterfield, founder of Haworth RDA, said everyone at the group was hugely proud of T-jay’s achievement.

“He has been riding with us from the age of four and volunteering for two years,” she said.

“He’s an inspiration to both the young and older members of the group. We’re so proud of him.”

Earlier this year, T-jay – with group colleague James Reed Griffiths – rode for Team GB in Abu Dhabi, together winning four gold medals, plus a silver and a bronze.

And they were also among a Haworth RDA contingent which rode in a Special Olympics at Hamm, Germany – winning a clutch of medals between them.

Haworth RDA was earlier this year awarded a £470,000 grant from the National Lottery Community Fund, which will help with staff and running costs over the next five years.

Jackie founded the group, with one rider and pony and three volunteers, in 2001.

Now it has 105 riders every week, taking part in a host of activities.

There is an after-school club on Mondays and Wednesdays, and holiday and luncheon clubs.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is also offered, along with work towards other awards, and students from schools and colleges take part in work placements.

Jackie says the riding experience can transform lives.

And she says that without the help of volunteers and others, the group wouldn’t be able to function.

“If it wasn’t for our volunteers and supporters – plus the National Lottery – we couldn’t offer such opportunities to so many youngsters,” Jackie added.

“What the riders can achieve is remarkable.”

Volunteers are still needed to perform various roles, such as manning reception on a Wednesday or Saturday and gardening.

Anyone interested can contact Jackie on 01535 649448.