We work with companies of all sizes and across all industry sectors. We also specialise in providing support and outsourced services to small and medium sized companies acting as an extension to your management team.
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Handcross Park School
Handcross Park School is a co-educational school for children from 2-13 with origins dating back to 1887, the school was originally known as Newells Preparatory School. Formerly a boys’ boarding school the school became a co-educational establishment in the early 70s and later converted to a day school offering weekly and casual boarding. The Handcross Park belief is that a happy child is a productive child.
“Having carried out a major re-structure it was clear from a very early stage that additional expertise was required to ensure that this process was not only carried out fairly and within the boundaries of the law, but that an objective point of view was also necessary. In Melanie Franks from Sparkhouse Consultants we were fortunate to have all that and more. When organisations are involved in what is often a very emotionally charged process, the professional support of a consultant with the knowledge and experience of situations such as these was not only invaluable – it was very necessary. Melanie understood from our first meeting what was required and she provided outstanding back-up throughout. We could not have completed the re-structure without her advice and support. Lawyers can provide legal information but they cannot spend time in your organisation working with management and the staff to ensure everyone understood what was happening and why. Her experience in human resources came to the fore here. She was simply outstanding and I cannot recommend both her and Sparkhouse Consultants highly enough.”
Graeme Owton, Headmaster
"Sparkhouse Consultants provide an excellent service to American Express Bank. They have driven and delivered on a number of key projects, most notably strategic positioning and leadership development for our Training Competence requirements under the terms of our regulators, the Financial Services Authority. Sparkhouse have also provided most valued support in the key areas of Employee Relations and Change Management. I would have no hesitation recommending Sparkhouse to other prospective clients."
Allen Clements, HR Director
Propellernet are an innovative, award-winning search and social marketing agency who manage brand journeys, online marketing activities, creative SEO-PR strategies and leading-edge services.
“Melanie has a wealth of experience, and has always provided Propellernet with excellent advice. A highly valued business partner whom we call upon whenever we need advice on HR matters. Sparkhouse have helped us to identify many areas in which we could improve productivity through people, and we are now much better at finding, interviewing, motivating and retaining the right people. If you have a need for outsourced HR expertise, you have to talk to Melanie. I would not hesitate to recommend Sparkhouse consultants to any business that wants to get more out of its people."
Jack Hubbard, Managing Director
The Changing Workplace
The Changing Workplace is a UK based company with an international client portfolio. With a workforce of fewer than 50 employees they provide highly technical solutions to managing Corporate Real Estate. They design, implement and maintain web based information solutions and provide strategic and practical support services.
"When a small company is growing, one of the most problematic skill gaps to fill is Human Resource expertise. We have benefited hugely from using the services of Sparkhouse Consultants. Sparkhouse has provided the perfect solution to The Changing Workplace by offering insightful support and knowledge on a flexible consultancy basis. Their straightforward advice, whether on the phone or in person, has proved invaluable over the last six months."
Janet Nunn, Operations Director
Kanoo Travel, a franchise partner of American Express Travel Services, specialise in tailormade luxury holidays for the discerning traveller. Kanoo have multiple travel offices across the UK and over 200 employees.
“To transfer any employees under a TUPE scenario is a tough and engaging task at the best of times, to do so when you are moving employees from a global blue chip organisation to a new legal entity in the UK is extremely demanding. Add into this mix, the owners of this legal entity are foreign based and you have just 6 months to achieve all this and you will begin to appreciate the scale of the task involved".
"To the credit of everyone at Sparkhouse Consultants they not only achieved this task on time but they produced such an effective communication strategy within this process that the transfer was smooth and 100% effective. Very rarely do you work with a company that takes such pride in the service they provide and who care so passionately about the people they are working with. We simply could not have done it without them.”
Warren Joy, UK General Manager, Kanoo Travel & FES Services Ltd
"Not having an in-house HR department Danhouse elected to use Sparkhouse Consultants when faced with a TUPE (Transfer of Undertaking Protection of Employment) situation. Due to the sensitivities involved it was essential that we received up-to-date and reliable advice on how to approach the issues and deal with them in accordance with the law. Sparkhouse responded in a very professional and speedy manner and not only provided guidance documents and regular telephone advice but were prepared to attend employee consultation meetings as well. The Sparkhouse consultant that we deal with is always responsive and very helpful and is prepared to give ad-hoc advice on various issues whenever we need it. In this constantly changing legal environment it is well worth the investment for small companies to have a reliable HR source. We will definitely continue to use them to provide advice and guidance."
Nick Wood, Managing Director
Gateway Family Services
"As part of recent change, when we ceased being part of the NHS and formed as a Community Interest Company, we realised that it is important that we position ourselves appropriately with other similar organisations in the industry. As we report into a Board of Directors we need to ensure that any proposals we make with regard to organisational change, especially those concerning our employees, is based on well structured business objectives and where required we have an independent source validate our proposals and if necessary provide us with justification based on careful research. We approached Sparkhouse and asked them to undertake a benchmarking exercise and provide a written report that we could present to the Board. They were extremely helpful and spent a lot of time helping us prepare documentation and asking questions so that they could fully understand how we operate so that they could accurately carry out the research and provide a meaningful report. We were most impressed with the service they provided. At the same time we also asked them to review documentation regarding our temporary employees and information that covered aspects of their employment. Once again the response to our request and the turnaround was really quick and exactly what we needed. The Sparkhouse consultants are extremely professional and knowledgeable and we feel very secure in knowing that they are at the end of the phone when we need help. They are an excellent HR outsource partner.”"
Elizabeth Carroll, Deputy Chief Executive
"This was an extremely useful and professionally presented piece of work which will enable Relate to compete in the marketplace when recruiting and thus enable implementation of retention and succession planning that will support a highly effective team. We felt that Sparkhouse very quickly understood our organisation and we felt secure in the knowledge that the service we were receiving was tailor made to our special needs."
Trish Owen, Relate Brighton and Hove Centre Manager
Rosenfeld Rosenfeld Kirby
Rosenfeld Rosenfeld Kirby is a private young person’s residential home providing professional support from social workers.
“In June 2008 I found myself in a very precarious position in relation to an investigation, following an allegation against a very senior member of staff, who had had to be suspended, pending an investigation. This could have long reaching, damaging effects on our whole business. I needed a professional to conduct an independent investigation into the allegation and advise accordingly. Melanie Franks of Sparkhouse Consultants came highly recommended and I made the initial telephone call.
Melanie met with me to ascertain as much information as possible and explained what would happen next. She had an extremely professional approach and I felt confident that the matter would be investigated thoroughly.
I have never regretted this decision. Melanie and her colleague, Ms. Goncalvez, kept me informed at all stages of the investigation. They liaised with other professionals and agencies, interviewed the subject of the allegation, other staff members and the client who brought the allegation. They were sensitive throughout to the seriousness of the situation and stress to all concerned. They went out of their way to ensure that there was no unnecessary delays.
Thankfully the outcome was positive and the staff member concerned was able to return to work.
Since that time, Sparkhouse Consultants have given us sound advice and support on particular HR matters and kept us updated of latest legislation”.
I cannot recommend them highly enough.
Jane Kirby, Director, Rosenfeld Rosenfeld Kirby Ltd.
“Since tackling our absence problem head on in January 2007 under the direct guidance of Sparkhouse Consultants, our sickness levels throughout the company have reduced significantly. Looking at the progress made so far in 2007, we are expecting sickness levels to have halved by the end of the year. Periods of absence are discussed on the day of returning to work and there are no exceptions as to who has to go through the process. In fact, after 2 years with only a single day off, I was unfortunately one of the first to undergo an interview in early 2007 after a week off sick. Qualifying periods of absence over a 12 month period are now clearly measured and discussed and it is obvious to the manager and individual concerned when something is wrong. The back to work interview then provides a perfect platform for discussing what support can be offered to assist the employee in improving their attendance.
I would certainly recommend this method of clearly measuring and tackling absenteeism in the workplace along with Melanie’s assistance and guidance in implementing such a system which can seem a rather daunting task at the outset”.
Paul Rawlinson, Operations Director
Roedean Independent School
Roedean School is an independent day and boarding school for girls aged 3-18 and for boys aged 3-11. St Mary's Hall was one of the country's oldest schools for girls, founded in 1836 by the Revd. Henry Venn Elliot for the "daughters of poor clergy". The school merged with Roedean in 2009 with the Junior School becoming Roedean Junior School and many of its remaining senior school girls also moving to complete their education at Roedean.
“Melanie Franks of Sparkhouse Consultants worked for St Mary’s Hall during the period of its merger with Roedean School and therefore worked closely with the Bursar and HR Manager of Roedean. It was very clear from the outset that Melanie has a deep knowledge and considerable experience of HR matters and she was a valued asset throughout this period. Moreover, she has very quickly able to recognise the source of the difficultly and to map out solutions.
Additionally she is a good communicator at all levels - on the one hand she was able to confidently explain the overall plan to senior staff while on the other she could discuss issues with the staff at what was a stressful time for them. In short Melanie is a thoroughly professional HR consultant who provides excellent service and I have no hesitation in recommending her to any employer who requires advice or assistance on any number of HR matters”.
Stephen Launchbury, Bursar Roedean School
“Melanie Franks of Sparkhouse Consultants Ltd. provided expert HR support to me and my management team during the merger between St Marys Hall and Roedean. This support included liaising and consulting with legal counsel, supporting the Senior Management team in making decisions and ensuring all staff were well represented and kept informed through the consultation process.
Melanie has a depth of experience in such situations and was able to guide us through what was a stressful and challenging time. Her professionalism and experience enabled her to provide strategic direction to both parties in designing and implementing key processes such as setting up the collective consultation body, agreeing the criteria for the selection process and managing a fair and equitable outcome.
Melanie’s pragmatism and efforts to build relationships with all the staff made the process much easier to manage. Melanie continues to maintain a relationship with Roedean and the staff at St Marys Hall despite the merger being finalised.
I would not hesitate to recommend Sparkhouse Consultants as necessary and valued support not just in the case of a merger but for any employee or HR needs”.
Sue Meek, Head Teacher St Marys Hall
Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project
The Brighton Unemployed Families Centre Project are a not for profit organisation who provide support, education and recreation for those in poor housing, unwaged people and those on low incomes.
"Sparkhouse have been able to, not just simply provide us with the information that we needed, but they have also guided and supported us so that we have all gained not only the knowledge, but also understanding of employment issues. Most importantly our confidence has increased not least because we know that we have built up a relationship with Sparkhouse and know that they understand our organisation aims, ethos and systems."
Lyn Strong, Chair of Trustees at Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project
White Hat Media
The Corporate Presence
Sherrards Employment Law Solicitors