A physiotherapist who launched a programme for children while battling funding cuts has been given an MBE.

Andrea Clarke, the founder of Playskill, in Gammons Lane, Watford, has been named on the Queen's Honours List for her work in helping children with physical difficulties.

The charity, launched in 2006, runs therapeutic parent and child groups for pre-school children with special, physical needs.

As a physiotherapist, her work regularly brought her into contact with families who felt isolated, because their needs and the of their children were not understood.

She said: “I had seen how improved outcomes could be achieved, and wanted to integrate physiotherapy, speech, occupational and educational therapies together under one roof, to address the early neurological difficulties and especially the physical disabilities in pre-school patients.

"I was determined to set up a pilot programme here in Hertfordshire and despite early funding setbacks.

“I am passionate about seeing children reach their potential.

"I believe wholeheartedly that early intervention gives the best possible opportunity for children with physical/ delay or long term disability to achieve their potential, and that’s with the full family support that we provide; to enable the child’s world to stay safe and enriching.

"We would like to see a Playskill group in every area, but need passionate therapists to be able to take these groups all around the country.

"This will enable these children to thrive, grow and take their place in the world as able contributors to society.

"This award recognizes all that the Playskill team have done, for the amazing families and children I meet every week."

For more information about the charity, e-mail: andrea@playskill.org or tanya@playskill.org