Hertfordshire children's charity Playskill awarded £500,000 over five years for vital specialist pre-school playgroup

Playskill awarded a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund

Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 11:15 am
Updated Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 11:16 am

A children's charity, which has a group in Hemel Hempstead, has been awarded a grant from The National Lottery Community Fund for vital specialist pre-school playgroup.

Playskill, a charity which provides therapeutic pre-school playgroups in Watford and Hemel Hempstead for children with physical difficulty or delay, has been awarded a grant of just under £500,000 over five years from the National Lottery Community Fund.

This grant will fund a number of projects across the five years including an extended Parent Support system, which will see the charity develop trained volunteers who are Playskill parents/carers to mentor and support other parents/carers who are new to Playskill or simply need peer to peer support.


The money will also fund a new social media project for young people with physical difficulties to get work experience.

With this grant Playskill can also continue the vital early intervention work, helping pre-school aged children with physical disabilities living in Hertfordshire through it's Watford and Hemel Hempstead based groups.

Like many charities Playskill has seen a drop in income due to the pandemic but thanks to this vital grant from the National Lottery Community Fund they can continue their crucial work and look towards expansion over the next five years to meet the increase in demand for the service from the local communities in which they are based.

Founded in 2006 by Paediatric Physiotherapist Andrea Clarke MBE, Playskill is celebrating its 15th Anniversary this year, having supported more children than ever before in 2020.

Playkill group before the Covid-19 pandemic

Andrea Clarke MBE, Playskill’s Founder and Director said “We are absolutely thrilled that The National Lottery Community Fund has awarded us this very generous grant to support our work over the next five years.

"This past year has shown us more than ever how incredibly important our work is, with demand for our services at an all time high.

"This funding from the National Lottery Community Fund will help ensure our vital groups can continue and help us to expand to meet the demand from the local community.

"Our groups really are a lifeline to parents and children who are living with physical disabilities and its vital that we raise the funds to continue them.

"This is the third grant from the National Lottery Community Fund supporting our work and we are delighted to be continuing our partnership with them.”

Playskill is the only charity in Hertfordshire providing free expert support from a Paediatric Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist and Speech and Language Therapist in a group play session for pre-school children aged 1 to 5 who have physical disabilities or delay.

Each group sessions use play as a tool for development - while the children are having fun, they are also learning to stand, eat, communicate and walk.