Pangea Support Services is a semi-independent accommodation provider that delivers young people with accommodation, support, independent living skills advice, and cash dispensation. Farhana Shah, Office Manager and Director, fills us in:
“Pangea Support began in 2007. Our main clientele is young people who have come into the country as unaccompanied minors, and we provide them with support and accommodation.
“We’re based in South Croydon, and currently employ around 20 individuals in total. We have maintenance staff who are out preserving and attending to any repairs and remedial works, and then key work staff who are based in the office but also accompany young people to appointments.
“Our mission is to help young people achieve their goals, live independently and value their contribution to society, in particular those aged 16-18. We dedicate our services to support them in preparation for self-sufficiency.
While there wasn’t one particular challenge, the growth of Pangea led to an increased need for HR. As with most organisations however, the primary focus was on the day-to-day operation of the business. All of that changed once Farhana attended a Croner business event.
“We attended a free event hosted by Croner on employment law,” states Farhana, “myself and my colleague found that seminar really, really useful, and as a result we decided to sign up with Croner as a business support provider.
“We’ve been running for well over 10 years, and we’d never received that type of legal advice before. We found it quite shocking—some of the cases that go to tribunal. It was definitely an eye-opener, there were certain things that were brought to our attention that we simply didn’t know.
“Prior to Croner coming in we were also dealing with H&S ourselves, my colleague who managed that had some background in property maintenance and health & safety in general. But again, H&S is quite a big topic, and at the Croner event, some of the things we were unaware of were highlighted.”
How We’ve Helped
Now, Pangea has a renewed focus on HR and H&S, with the Directors working towards the goal of creating a new internal HR department and remaining compliant.
“This involves some smaller tasks,” explains Farhana, “like creating employee handbooks, which Croner is helping us with at the moment.
“The service to date has been great. When I call up the advice line, especially if its involving an issue with an employee, I often want to take things down a certain route, but Croner are always there to point me in the right direction. It’s always the correct advice at the right time, so it’s been really, really helpful actually.
“Employing people can be a very stressful situation. Lots of people can pass an interview, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to be the right type of person for the job- especially when it is involving young people, they need the right temperament. That’s why it’s good to have Croner on side.
“We’ve had an H&S Consultant and some on-site training, both were excellent, they clearly knew what they were talking about. Whenever I asked a question they were able to answer it concisely, and were incredibly useful.
“We see Croner being integral to our organisation moving forward, and we’d definitely recommend Croner to other social service organisations looking for HR and H&S services.”
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