01 Sep 2021
Gemma Shiels and Helen Cunningham set up Fusion HR Ltd in 2020, through their shared passion for HR and the desire to support businesses achieve success and growth through effective Human Resource Management.
Fusion HR Ltd works with businesses who either have no or little HR support, or need additional support for projects or specialist areas, for example case management, performance management and recruitment.
Whilst working within council services, both Gemma and Helen decided to pursue further education and completed their Level 7 CIPD Master’s degrees, before taking voluntary redundancy and pursuing their dream of starting their own HR Consultancy.
Gemma explained: “We’re friends as well as business partners; we studied and worked together for 20 years, and this was something we have wanted to do for a while.
“Along with our HR experience we both worked as operational managers and so have experience on both sides of people management. We see this as a real benefit as we have first-hand experience of every day people issues and how to achieve the best solutions by using our HR knowledge and experience.”
Fusion HR Ltd offer a range of services to businesses. It has recently become an accredited supplier for a well-known educational buying company, as Gemma & Helen have extensive experience in working with schools and academies.
Helen discussed some of their clients : “Fusion HR Ltd has provided support to businesses from a range of sectors and industries, for example we’ve helped a hospitality business to build up their policies and procedures and create a staff handbook; which will support the business as it grows and help ensure it is legally compliant. On the other hand, we’ve supported a large housing company to recruit a new CEO. We lover the variety and getting to know our clients and their businesses.’
“We really want to help businesses ensure that they have everything in place in order to be legally compliant. HR problems can really damage a business, but we are here to give our clients that reassurance that have everything they need to deal with anything that comes up – and that we’re on the end of the phone to offer support too.
We feel it is important to be pro- active when it comes to HR and people management to avoid future issues which are both time consuming and costly. Small businesses are in a great position to get things right early on so that they can grow with the confidence that they are getting the best out of their people. It really is the people that make the difference.’
Both Helen and Gemma are trained in mental health first aid, and have worked with schools and businesses on their mental health policies. Gemma explained: “We’ve worked with schools and businesses to help them create mental health policies and introduce initiatives to support their staff. We’ve really enjoyed this and think its really important for businesses to be proactive to support their staff.”
Helen continued: “We just wanted to do something we were passionate about, and we’ve never looked back. I love coming into work now and wouldn’t change anything, I feel like we’re adding lots of value to businesses now.”
The New Enterprise Allowance is funded by the Department of Work and Pensions and the European Social Fund.
If you are unemployed and thinking of starting a business, speak to your Job Centre Plus adviser for more information about the New Enterprise Allowance Scheme.
Through the New Enterprise Allowance, Clare accessed support from St Helens Chamber’s Business Start Up team with everything from funding to writing a business plan.
“We accessed the NEA scheme and Jan Corby was amazing. She was lovely, she’d ring me and be able to tell I was passionate, so she supported me to set up my business.
Gemma explained: “She also told me about becoming a Chamber Member to access further support. We’ve taken advantage of being Members and have accessed networking and some courses which have been great.
“We’ve joined again this year, everyone’s really supportive and helpful and you really get your moneys worth”
Helen added: “We did the online networking which was great and did marketing courses to boost our skills. Our experience with the Chamber has been really positive and we look forward to working with the Chamber in future.”
Helen and Gemma accessed a range of Start Up support through St Helens Chamber, and we’re able to access further events and training courses through their Chamber Membership.
Gemma explained, “HR is our area of expertise, but there is so much else to learn when you are running your own business. The support really helped with everything else we needed to know about. We’ve had to learn about marketing and finance, but there’s always someone to go to and ask a question.
Helen continued: “Other Members are so supportive too, and we are appreciative of the support we’ve received. We’re looking forward to meeting up with Members and Chamber staff in the near future!”
To find out more about Start Up support from St Helens Chamber, call on 01744742096 or email firstname.lastname@example.org