Trailblazers Mentoring has one vision: to end youth offending.

Their mission to enable young offenders to be catalysts for positive change in their communities is a vitally important one and requires all elements of the business to run smoothly so the mentors can continue to do what they do best.

John Shepherd, CEO of Trailblazers Mentoring gives a brief background of the company: “We are a charity and limited company founded in 1998. We run mentoring programs currently in four prisons and three young-offenders institutions for 18-25 year olds.

“The projects are based in Wandsworth, Brinsford, Isis, and Aylesbury, which is where our head office is located. Myself and my Operations Manager tend to work from home, and our project managers, four full-time and two part-time, work on site.”


A change in staff prompted John to consider further HR support and guidance, knowing his documents needed to undergo a review:

“The decision to take action was driven by two changes of staff, as well as knowledge that we needed to have our contracts looked at before issuing the contracts we had before. That was the catalyst for searching for support.

“Last year we had to go through redundancy process, we had to buy-in some HR support at the time. It all went smoothly and went well, but it reminded me of the fact that buying HR support for a one-time event, such as a redundancy, is an expensive way to do it.”

“The fact I knew the Croner name, it has been around for a long time and it has a good reputation, helped sell it to me. The intention was to look at around three different services and compare them, but after Croner’s representative visited I was convinced you could crack on and get what I needed done, so I agreed to sign up for Croner’s services at that meeting.”

How We’ve Helped

The priority for John was the document review, as he was looking to hire new mentors, but didn’t want to do so until their contracts were up-to-date.

“Phillip Tall did our document review, the priority of which was our staff handbooks and our contracts. The whole process was very quick and simple. The document review, from the initial review to the production of the employment contracts & handbooks was a really easy, pain-free experience.

“We set a deadline for when we needed these handbooks, and they arrived a week earlier than requested so we were able to hand those all out in good time.

Once the document review was completed, the full Simplify package was implemented, including the staff holiday management system.

“As part of the package we also get staff holiday management which is already up and running, we are already benefitting from that in terms of the simplicity and information it provides. We’re now dealing with that more professional and efficiently.

“I would 100% recommend Croner to those working in the charity sector.”

For more information on Trailblazers Mentoring, or to volunteer or donate, visit

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