Natalie Ross 1948-2022

A tribute from the Cambridge Professional Development Group.

Colleagues will be sad to learn of the death of Natalie Ross. 

As a local authority psychologist, Natalie worked in Hillingdon for over 30 years. Here Natalie developed a particular interest in helping children with sensory impairments. She became extremely knowledgeable and in the 1990s Natalie became a specialist Educational Psychologist in the borough and helped to produce a resource manual for schools. This manual, despite significant changes in its legal context, is still used today in many schools to provide guidance for inclusion.

During her time at Hillingdon, Natalie became an active member of two UK groups: PsyHIC (psychologists for hearing impaired children); and PsyVIC (psychologists for visually impaired children). The latter met at the RNIB in London and Natalie worked as its coordinator for many years. During this time colleagues will remember the way Natalie chaired the meetings allowing everyone to contribute, whilst freely sharing her own knowledge and contacts. Natalie also brought forward innovative ideas to PsyVIC to help in extending the work of this group.

Alongside her work as an EP, Natalie was always generous with her time. She used her skill set voluntarily to support schools through governance. During her time at Hillingdon, Natalie was governor at the RNIB school, Sunshine House, and, following her retirement, the Glebe School in Hillingdon (Natalie had served as its EP from 1978 to 2008). Last term, before Natalie’s diagnosis with pancreatic cancer, the Glebe Primary School set up an annual award the ‘Natalie Ross SEN Award’ to celebrate a child’s progress and achievement. 

Since Natalie’s retirement in 2008, she continued to enjoy being a psychologist. She joined a group of independent psychologists, the Cambridge Psychologists’ Professional Development Group. Natalie has been a regular attendee and has run a number of sessions for the group. During her retirement Natalie also freely offered her services as a supervisor to a younger colleague who had embarked on building a private practice.

Natalie used her psychological skills professionally but also in her friendships. This made her a rare find. Natalie had a genuine interest in the personal lives of the people she met. She was wise, sincere, thoughtful, and genuinely interested in the big stuff and the little stuff of life. She had an emotional intelligence that reached way beyond the norm. She was able to connect with, and relate to, a whole spectrum of people with ease. Often Natalie saw things from a different perspective and was able to be a critical friend, asking those difficult questions but in the most gentle of ways. Natalie knew how to lead one forward, towards a new path or, perhaps, a different solution.

Natalie was always modest but now we must celebrate her incredible gifts. A light has gone out of our lives, but her legacy, kindness and inspiration will continue to shine.

Submitted on behalf of the Cambridge Professional Development Group

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