Investors in People Gold Award for Community Led Initiatives


People Puzzles has been helping Community Led Initiatives, a Manchester/Bedford & Milton Keynes based peer mentoring organisation, to rapidly scale up, expand its services, and gain recognition as gold-standard Investor in People.

About Community Led Initiatives

Community Led Initiatives Community Led Initiatives (CLI) supports people on probation who are trying to rebuild their own lives after being in prison. It was launched in 2013 by two founders who had managed to rebuild their lives after addiction and crime and wanted to help others do the same. Independent evaluations have evidenced that people who engage with CLI for over six months after being released from prison, are 75 per cent less likely to reoffend.

In 2020, Pete Atherton the Founder and CEO reached out to People Puzzles to support his ambitious plans to grow the organisation. Portfolio Director Jayne Chadwick was the perfect match for CLI’s needs, having previously worked as a HR Director within the Criminal Justice Sector. Her first project was to implement a HR System and a new Performance Framework.

Since Jayne started with CLI, they have:

  • Secured new Contracts in Greater Manchester and the South of EnglandCommunity Led Initiatives Logo
  • Tripled in size
  • Mobilised the delivery of services to online during the pandemic
  • Developed a highly effective Senior Leadership Team
  • Achieved Investors in People (IIP) Gold accreditation and been shortlisted for the IIP Awards in the gold Employer of the Year category

Rapid expansion

With a growing reputation for delivering results, CEO and founder Pete Atherton has secured significant funding from the National Lottery and Greater Manchester Combined Authority to expand CLI’s services across those communities. In 2020, CLI had just 13 staff and needed to recruit fast to deliver on that investment and successfully mobilise new services.

CLI is often the steppingstone for people back into work – the organisation’s GROW programme is a 2 year-long traineeship which gives people with lived experience the skills and experience to get back into employment, and many volunteers work their way into the organisation via this route. However, certain skills needed to be brought in from outside to help it grow. Jayne introduced Pete to marketing expert Jane Nugent from People Puzzles’ partner organisation The Marketing Centre to work on CLI’s comms and PR strategy. Jayne also recommended Max Ad – a recruitment partner of People Puzzles, to support the recruitment of operational staff including an HR Adviser, a newly created post to manage the day-to-day people tasks.

Developing an effective senior leadership team

One of the key challenges facing the organisation was forming a new senior leadership team which Jayne has supported. Everyone on that Senior Team is now completing a Colourworks Leadership Development Programme to develop their skills and to foster a coaching culture throughout the organisation.

Other improvements

To inform the people strategy, Jayne prompted a refresh of the organisation’s Vision, Mission and Values. She worked collaboratively with Jane Nugent, Marketing Director on this project. These have now been communicated and embedded across the organisation. She also introduced a framework for performance reviews incorporating the new values and moved the organisation over to a new HR system to streamline all its HR processes.

Remarkably, Jayne has worked almost entirely remotely during her time with CLI and has even spent some of that time travelling while continuing to support Pete deliver the people priorities identified during the Discovery. She has built trust during that time by delivering on her promises.


Working remotely certainly hasn’t held back the extraordinary transformation that is now beginning to be recognised outside as well as inside the organisation. CLI already had Investors in People accreditation but after Jayne implemented recommendations from IIP, CLI now has IP Gold status. It has also been shortlisted for the IIP Employer of the Year award, which will be announced in November 2022.

Is your business is looking to grow or scale rapidly? Would like to develop an effective, insightful leadership team to deliver those business goals? Find out how People Puzzles can help call 020 3633 6830 or email [email protected] for a chat.


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