National plaudits for Whaley Bridge consultancy firm

Graham Atkinson, Laura Atkinson, Jeremy Vine - CIPD Award winners (1)
Graham Atkinson, Laura Atkinson, Jeremy Vine - CIPD Award winners (1)

The positive impact of an innovative ‘virtual’ human resources scheme has landed a Whaley Bridge firm a national award.

Atkinson HR Consulting collected the CIPD People Management Award for Best HR/Learning & Development Consultancy for its work with Durham Students’ Union.

Laura Atkinson, director of Atkinson HR Consulting, said: “We are thrilled to have won such a prestigious award.

“We’re a small business, working with charities, so this is a great achievement for us and shows the need for high-quality HR support in small to medium-sized organisations.”

Atkinson HR Consulting’s Virtual HR Director service provides HR expertise to small and medium-sized charities for three days per month, as an alternative for organisations that need support with challenging or complex HR issues but who cannot afford their own HR director.

The panel of judges were impressed by the students’ union speaking enthusiastically about the firm and how genuine the relationship felt.

Gary Hughes, chief executive officer at Durham Students’ Union, said: “Working with the Atkinson HR Consulting team has made such a difference to our organisation.

“Not only are staff more engaged but it’s had a great knock-on effect on other areas of our charity helping us raise more money and achieve a national Quality Students’ Union mark.”

After implementing a new people strategy, staff engagement at the students’ union rocketed from 46 per cent to 90 per cent.