Meet the Trustees

Tony Vardy chairs the Board of Trustees of CB Plus.

He has introduced our new monthly feature in the Newsletter, profiling each Trustee in turn. 

This month’s conversation is with Anita Harris. 

Tony Vardy (TV):   Very good to speak to you, Anita.  Tell us a little about your work and family life outside CB Plus. 

Anita Harris (AH):   I’ve worked in the NHS for the last five years, helping deliver services for children and young people, family support, and people with special needs.  I’ve also contributed to some major transformation projects. Before that, I was a commissioning manager for Barnet’s CCG and Barnet Council, again in children’s services. 

 In my family we have two grown-up “children” – both around the age of 30 and both still living at home in Hemel Hempstead, along with our two dogs. 

TV:   How did you first become a Trustee with Community Barnet – now CB Plus? 

AH:  While I was working in Barnet, I got to know Julie Pal [CEO of CB Plus], and she persuaded me to become a Trustee. I’ve always been interested in volunteering, for example, helping with reading projects when my children were at school and then becoming a school governor for ten years. So, this seemed a logical step to take. 

When Covid struck, I took on another volunteering role, becoming Operations Manager at a local vaccination centre set up by the CCG with a healthcare partner. I thought it was a great cause, with lots of people giving their time to help. 

TV:  What is your current role as a Trustee? 

AH:   I have two main roles currently.  One is that I chair the Compliance & Risk Committee, which looks after a lot of governance topics and produces a regularly updated Risk Register for the whole of CB Plus. And I am also the Trustee responsible for Safeguarding in the organisation – both the policy and practice. 

 I’m also a member of the Business Development and Innovation Committee, where I enjoy contributing to the forward-thinking of CB Plus. 

TV:   How would you describe your experience as a Trustee – any particularly memorable points? 

AH:   I really like my role as a Trustee at CB Plus, both because of what we do as an organisation and because of the excellent support Julie and the Senior Leadership Team give the Trustees. It makes our lives much easier.  

 I have learned a lot from my time as a Trustee in terms of the volume of work we are responsible for and the great impact we have on many groups in the community.  Also, I am always learning from the other Trustees because we have an excellent range of different skills and experience that we bring to the table. 

 Because of my work background and current role, I’m always keen to help with our services involving children and young people, where we have made great strides in recent years. 

TV:   What do you see as the biggest challenge for CB Plus from here? 

CC:  Like many organisations in the voluntary and community services sector, it’s a huge challenge to balance the demand and need for services against a backdrop of continually diminishing funding and budgets. I know that our partnership working has enabled us to combine resources and use the available money more efficiently and we may have to do more of this in the future. 

 Also we need to ensure we retain our key staff going forward. We know that we owe a lot to all of the loyal and hardworking team who work in CB Plus. 

 TV:  Many thanks, Anita, for this conversation and for the key roles you undertake so well in CB Plus. 

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