The lead receptionist at Chess Veterinary Clinic in Rickmansworth has hailed the team spirit at the practice as she celebrates three decades of dedicated service. 

Helen Barnard, who is also client care manager, joined Chess when the ways of working, including cardboard record cards and a handwritten appointment book, were very different to the current cutting-edge methods. 

Thirty years on from first stepping through the doors, where she began working evenings, Helen says the surgery has always provided the highest possible service for its loyal clients. 

Reflecting on the continuous improvements at Chess Vets during her 30 years, Helen, who has gradually increased her hours over the years, said: “In my early days, each client had a cardboard record card and the notes were often hard to read. 

“The credit card machine was also a roller type with paper underneath that you had to write the amount in. Things were very simple then but I loved it. 

“We went computerised in 2000 and boy did my job change! I have embraced new IT changes to help run an efficient reception desk along with my great team of six. 

“I have also gained a great friendship with many clients on a professional level, some whom pop in to say ‘hello’ if they are passing by.” 

Practice manager Iain Watt said: “Helen and her team are a credit to Chess Vets; we don’t know what we would do without them. 

“Of course, our thanks also go to Helen, in particular, for her incredible service to the surgery. Thirty years loyal service is very rare these days and we hope Helen continues at Chess Vets for many years to come.” 

For more information on Linnaeus-owned Chess Vets, which also has a practice in Chorleywood, visit or search for Chess Veterinary Clinic on social media. 

Back to news