Based in Worcestershire, Cherington HR is run by award-winning HR consultant Helen Astill. Helen has considerable experience in all aspects of practical human resource management and development, gained from a variety of senior positions in both public and private sectors, including several years as HR and Support Services Manager at the global engineering group GKN plc.
In July 2021, Cherington HR was acquired by award-winning consultancy, HR Solutions, providing Cherington HR’s clients with a wider service offering and extensive additional experienced staff.
Meet the Team
At Cherington HR, we have a dedicated team that are happy to assist and support you and your business in multiple areas.
Now that you have learned about who we are as a company, welcome to the team that drives it and ensures that you, as a business owner, always have peace of mind when dealing with difficult situations arising in your business.
Helen is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development with Masters Degrees in training & development and human resource management.
She also holds psychometric testing and job evaluation qualifications. Helen is skilled at managing change and resolving recruitment, staff management and development issues.
Chris is dedicated to providing a first-class provision of professional telephone and email advice to clients, on all aspects of employee relations including Disciplinary, Grievance, Absence Management, Restructure, Redundancy and TUPE.
As a results-driven self-starter with tenacity and ambition, Bhavika has over 18 years HR experience gained with leading UK organisations where she designed and implemented reward schemes and employee engagement programmes.
Cherington HR Services
At Cherington HR, we offer a wide variety of services to ensure that we can support you and your business through development, growth and issues that may arise through your company journey.
Our award-winning services include:
Our aim at Cherington HR is for you and your business to achieve both your short-term and long-term business objectives. However, you will require your staff to adjust, develop and change, as your business develops.
We can support you by devising plans and projects to help your employees adapt to any changes involved. We can work with you to help you achieve such changes and minimise any difficulties along the way.
All businesses regardless of size must provide written contracts of employment for their employees on, or before, the first day the employee starts work.
These written statements outline employees’ terms and conditions applicable to their employment, regardless of whether they are engaged on a full-time or part-time basis.
Staff contracts, employment agreements and temporary employment contracts (including occasional and fixed term arrangements) must all cover specific terms.
An employee handbook is a useful tool in ensuring that employees understand what is expected of them.
Furthermore, it provides the employer with an excellent way of proving that it has communicated vital rules that it expects its employees to abide by during employment.
Cherington HR has partnered with breatheHR to provide you with tailored HR software your team will love. It is intuitive, straightforward and employee-friendly.
Keeping all your employee information in one place and automating all those time-consuming HR administrative tasks, breatheHR will transform the way you do HR and give you time back to spend working on your business.
Improving the performance of individuals can lead to improved results for the whole business. In addition, spotting and developing capable individuals can ensure continued performance and can transform organisations.
So whether you need to know more about an individual’s preferred working style as part of your recruitment process or whether you need to help teams work more effectively together, psychometric testing can provide a valuable input.
Once you have recruited your staff, it is very important to manage them well – to develop those that are working well and to reward them appropriately.
A structured appraisal system will help you do this and can help prevent any inadvertent discrimination against any of your employees.
Furthermore, it will help you identify issues that arise as a result of poor performance and allow you to manage the situation appropriately.
Training and Development
With any of your business activities that involve change or the development of your staff, you may need to consider some training and development.
As part of any project undertaken for you by Cherington HR, we can offer training support where required.
Whatever changes you make within your business, it is important to communicate regularly with your employees.
This helps them understand the reasons for your actions. In certain situations there is a legal requirement to consult with workforce representatives and any affected individuals.
Since 2006 Cherington HR has worked with lots of different clients in a wide range of sectors from manufacturing and service industries to charitable / not-for-profit organisations.
They have asked for support and advice to help them deal with the people management issues that they have faced.
Many of these clients have provided testimonials regarding the level of support and what that has meant to their businesses.
”Since taking up the position of CEO here at Severn Rivers Trust, the advice and support I have received from Helen and her team has been invaluable.
From assistance with revising our employee contracts, to advising on more specific HR matters within the organisation, Helen & Chris have consistently been on hand to support, often at very short notice.
As a small, evolving charity, with volatile funding streams, and a fast-changing staffing structure, I anticipate that the continued support of Cherington HR will play an integral role in our sustainable growth.
Joe PimblettChief Executive Officer, Severn Rivers Trust
”As a business that is expanding rapidly, having direct access to expert HR advice and support has been invaluable for us at HarperCrewe. Helen and the team at Cherington HR are always on hand and provide clear, professional, and helpful guidance incredibly quickly.
The nature of the way Cherington HR is structured allows us to access as much or as little HR resource as we need, so they have fitted around our needs perfectly as a growing business.
While HR might seem like a daunting aspect for any growing organisation, Helen and her team have made it anything but. I can confidently and wholeheartedly recommend Cherington HR!
”Cherington HR have provided invaluably clear and compassionate advice to steer us calmly through some otherwise very tricky situations.
Having Helen at the other end of the phone and email has been a God-send for our Church Council and, particularly, me as its Chair.
Rev. Nick GowersVicar, Holy Trinity Church, Old Hills, Halesowen
”We needed the experience of wise counsel, an instinctive ability to connect with my colleagues, whatever their level of responsibility and an unfazed ability to make things happen.
Helen delivered on all these counts when implementing a wide-ranging and complex restructuring 3D puzzle, with many inter-connected dependencies. I felt supported by Helen and trusted her every move.
Get Helen on board and you won’t go wrong.
Andrew LovettChief Executive, Black Country Living Museum
”Helen took on some projects for us where we needed to update our contracts, handbooks and appraisal system. She has also provided advice on ad hoc queries and issues.
We have always found her very professional, knowledgeable and extremely supportive in everything she has done for us and wouldn't hesitate in recommending her.
Richard HillJoint Managing Director, Hills Ford
”We have had the pleasure of working with Helen for several years.
She approaches things in a sympathetic way and has a breadth of knowledge and experience to bring to the table. She is approachable and very reliable.
Our business has grown substantially, now employing over 100 employees and more recently Helen introduced us and, helped configure an electronic HR portal called BreatheHR which is an extremely useful tool to keep our records straight. It offers easy to navigate and reliable platforms and the reporting and communication tools have been very helpful. It has been well received by our staff.... I am not sure what we would do without it.
Helen is a very capable lady and a safe pair of hands and we would have no problem recommending her services.
Carol ScarrottIT and HR Manager, Linthwaite Ltd.
”We have been really thrilled working with Helen.
We are an architects practice with a dedicated team. Our brief to Helen was to ensure that all our HR documents were up to date. We were very keen to ensure that we were enabling our team to have the full benefits of working as part of our company and also, as from the Director's point of view, the company's policies were fully compliant with UK employment law.
Helen carried out two separate pieces of work, one for our employees and, another in terms of our contracted team. Her breadth of knowledge was really appreciated and we have already established a good relationship. We look forward to continuing this relationship over a number of years.
I am happy to recommend Helen's services to anyone who is looking to approach this complex area, since she can bring clarity and is easy to work with.
Alex CoppockDirector, Communion Architects
”We are a small independent registered charity and until we contracted the HR services of Cherington HR we had just muddled along in-house with regards to all matters to do with HR. We made the conscious decision that as employment legislation is forever becoming more and more complex, we needed to be a lot more professional in the way we operate and decided to contract the services of an external HR Consultant - Helen Astill.
Helen has completely overhauled our HR operation here and what I like about Helen, is that not only does she give expert HR advice, she does so in a timely fashion and in a calm reassuring manner. Helen is also not afraid to tell you that "you can't do that" or "you can't say that" when it comes to dealing with personnel issues, but she will come up with suggestions on better ways to achieve our aims. A number of times we have had Helen come in to deal directly with a personnel matter on our behalf.
Helen's input here is invaluable and contracting the HR services of Cherington HR is one of the best things that we have ever done. I thoroughly recommend Helen Astill to any organisation thinking of externalising their HR operation.
Craig DarbyManager, The Odell Trust
”A mutual client recommended Helen Astill of Cherington HR to us when we had need to update our HR contracts alongside the start-up of our Pension Scheme.
We would not hesitate to recommend Helen's services to others, her gentle and calm guidance with clear communication in plain English helped us develop our understanding and has given us the confidence to adopt the procedures needed to rejuvenate our HR scheme. The overall service we have received has been excellent.
We have found Helen to be understanding, efficient and very knowledgeable. She is always on hand to answer matters that arise and need to be sorted quickly. Always professional and it feels that there is someone on our side should the need arise. We can concentrate on our business and our clients knowing that our HR is in good order.
Clive WoolfordMotor Engineers Ltd.
”Griffiths Waite have been working with Cherington HR for a number of years across a wide variety of HR matters. From strategic policies and management team profiling through recruitment psychometric testing and employment contracts to delicate personnel matters Helen has always provided us a first class service.
All engagements have been promptly turned-around and thoroughly investigated with the correct application of best practice and latest HR legislation being applied. This focus on doing 'what is right for the company' is always at the forefront of Helen's work and instils the confidence that we are providing our employees the best service.
Cherington HR provides us with the perfect 'on-demand' HR department that a company of 50-100 employees could never justify on a full-time basis.
Mark WaiteManaging Director, Griffiths Waite Ltd.
”We've used Helen as an HR consultant for a number of years and have found her support and guidance essential as a growing business. Helen's approach is to offer as much or as little assistance as we require, depending on the situation and this approach allows us just to bounce questions or ideas off her or to engage her in much more in-depth work during periods of change or when more significant issues arise.
Helen has also helped us to maintain up-to-date and effective contracts and employee communications.
I would thoroughly recommend Helen's work and have found her a consistent, calm and supportive presence who understands exactly what we need as a business.
Adam HeathOperations Manager, Meridian (Speciality Packaging) Limited
”Helen has been great when we needed support, information and guidance on employment issues, she has responded to our concerns with a quick, professional and confidential approach.
We would highly recommend Helen Astill of Cherington HR Ltd to support any business with their HR.
Adam PearceManaging Director, ASE Plumbing & Heating Supplies Ltd
”Whitehouse flexible tubing is an established engineering company with a rich history dating back to the 1800's. We have encountered much change over recent years particularly in the area of employment law which we have found to be a minefield for the unwary.
Since we first contacted Helen over eight years ago she has helped us enormously particularly in the development of our Employment Contracts and Employee Handbook. In addition to the essentials, Helen has also provided invaluable support for all the HR issues we have had since we first met.
The telephone support package she provides is something we would not be without as it ensures we take appropriate action in all situations.
When dealing in the ever changing world of employment law the confidence that Helen's support provides is essential and we are most grateful for all she has done to keep us on the right side of the law whilst providing fair treatment for all our employees.
John WhitehouseDirector, Whitehouse Flexible Tubing Ltd.
”It is such a relief to know that Helen is on the end of the phone to deal with all of those tricky HR issues. Her technical knowledge is invaluable and we always get a prompt and helpful response.
Robin EtheringtonManaging Director, HDA
”We have used Helen from Cherington HR for a few years now. Running your own business is hard on your own and I have learned that getting experts in to support and advise us is what has kept us going and enabled us to concentrate on what we are good at.
All of our employees' contracts are up to date, as is our handbook, with constant updates on legislation being sent to us to make sure we are always aware of latest changes in the law. We have several members of staff now and things change all the time, so it is good to know we always have someone to turn to.
One of the huge benefits of using Cherington HR is if I have any staff issue, I can call Helen and get an answer immediately. That alone saves a lot of my time and energy and enables me to sleep at night. I have never yet called with an issue and not had the answer I needed within a matter of minutes of explaining the problem.
Cherington HR helps us as a growing business to feel safe and secure and I really cannot recommend them highly enough. Just fantastic!"
Sarah PreeceOwner, Professional Call Minders Ltd.
”We engaged Cherington HR to undertake the staff consultations for a major restructuring. The way that Helen Astill undertook the role was appreciated by staff through what was inevitably going to be a difficult period in the life of the office.
Her professional yet approachable style instilled confidence in the process for those going through such a worrying time and enabled us to move forward in a caring and timely way.
Robert HighamDiocesan Secretary, The Worcester Diocesan Board of Finance Limited.
Cherington HR News
HR is an ever evolving area and the headlines can quickly change how current legislation and workplace practices are conducted. As news breaks and situations change, we believe that our clients should be at the forefront of this and therefore have access to the top news stories, as and when they come to light.
Our news page hosts all of the recent top stories that may have an impact on your organisation, keeping you up to date with the ever changing business environment.
As part of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill, the Government is proposing to reform the Working Time Regulations, the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations and…