A trustee who works “tirelessly” for her charity has been nominated for the Watford Observer Community Heroes Award.

Chris Raby who has worked for the Playskill charity on St Albans Road in Watford for more than ten years was put forward for the award by her colleague, Andrea Clarke.

Playskill run parent and child term-time groups for pre-school children with special physical needs

Chris, who lives in Croxley Green, began working with the charity when it first launched in 2006.

In addition to being a trustee, she helps with recruitment of staff, implement health and safety policies and address child protection issues. 

As a trustee she regularly attends meetings to discuss the overall running of the charity. 

Speaking about her role, Chris said: “I’ve always worked with children. I think the charity is very good because it offers play sessions so the children can meet with other children and the parents have an opportunity to meet others with similar challenges.”

Chris trained as a paediatric nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital in 1965. She went on to work at Harefield Hospital for 21 years from 1970 before leaving in 1995 to take on a new role at Queen Mary’s Hospital for Children in Surrey until 2000.

Chris Raby

Watford Observer:

She said of her charity role: “It tied in nicely with my experience helping children and their families. Especially disabled children and their families who have a rough time, particularly with their first born. “It’s just so nice to help.”

When asked what she enjoys about her role, Chris said: “I think the enthusiasm from the staff is wonderful to see - helping the children to achieve physical goals such as walking, feeding and undressing.”

She said the charity started quite small with one session a week, adding: “As we got more funding we have got larger. In September we’ll be starting six sessions per week.”

Chris said she was “very surprised” to be nominated for the Watford Observer Community Heroes Award.

Beyond her charity work Chris belongs to a Watford central U3A group and she has also been a home service volunteer at Croxley Green library for three years. 

She said: “I like reading and if I was in the position where I couldn’t access books I would want someone to help me.”

Playskill director, Andrea Clarke, said: “As a trustee now for twelve years Chris has served tirelessly with responsibilities for health and safety risk assessments, she has interviewed virtually every member of staff and volunteers as part of her HR role and she has written many policies and procedures.

“She is totally trustworthy and kind to all she deals with, going about her work quietly and yet always reliably. 

“She loves children and young people with special needs and this has been a huge motivation to her. I am totally reliant on her support.”

Andrea added: "Playskill has a fantastic Board of Trustees which Chris Raby is part of. We are looking to recruit a new finance trustee who can help with accounts, preparation of the budget and funding bids. A knowledge of Xero is essential.

"We are also keen to recruit volunteers to help support fundraising and social media campaigns, we do have vacancies for group volunteers."

For more information please contact emma@playskill.org