About Us


Established in 2000, HR Champions were frontrunners in the concept of a consultancy dedicated to the provision of HR Services for other businesses. We’ve steadily and organically grown into a leading independent HR and Training Consultancy, enjoying an excellent reputation.

We thrive on our culture of delivering outstanding customer service, and pride ourselves in being flexible and nimble whilst remaining at all times business-like and professional. We believe that our success is largely due to our ability to get under the skin of and understand our clients, developing a strong relationship and rapport.

Over the last 19 years, we have continually developed both in terms of the organisation that we are and the services we provide to clients. We have also developed a network of associates for both HR and training who we can call upon should the situation require it.

Our EmployerGuard service provides HR and Employment Law advice, key documentation, on-sit support and other support services, whilst our dedicated training team is able to offer accredited ILM training, mental health training, and a whole suite of wider courses that individuals and business can benefit from.

Our team

Cathy O'Donoghue - Managing Director

Cathy is the MD of HR Champions having been in HR for all of her career and running HR Champions for 19 years. Cathy is passionate about developing individuals to their full potential to support a growing organisation and developing an engaged workforce. Cathy’s experience of successfully running her own business supports her executive coaching activities whilst her vast employment law experience drives her passion for best practice and commercial people management.

Kieran O'Donoghue - Director 

Kieran’s role is predominantly operational and he oversees the marketing, financial, and IT aspects of the business. The delivery of outstanding customer service is top of Kieran’s priorities and he’s also a recognizable face of HR Champions at various business and networking events.

Karen Stephens - Head of HR 

Karen is our Head of Human Resources. Karen has extensive generalist experience and knowledge within various sectors including Public Sector, Manufacturing, Aviation, Insurance, Oil and Gas and Energy. After gaining her BA (Hons) in Business and HR Management she went on to obtain a postgraduate diploma in HR to compliment her operational experience, & obtaining her MCIPD accreditation. Karen’s knowledge in HR and employment law, and her personable approach, are particular strengths.

Owen Lee - HR Consultant

Owen has over 25 years generalist HR experience, mainly in an international environment for BT. He also has experience in the UK SME manufacturing sector as HR Director. Owen is able to work effectively as a leader and team player in complex, matrixed organisations building effective relationships across different cultures to ensure delivery and the creation of HR infrastructures at a strategic level.


Julie Bettridge - Training Manager 

Julie has been our Training Manager for over 5 years. Her speciality as a trainer is in Leadership and Management, and she facilitates ILM levels 2 to 5 in this topic, as well as levels 3 and 5 certificate in coaching. Julie also designs and delivers bespoke training sessions for clients on a wide range of subjects such as Dignity at Work, Having Difficult Conversation, Communication skills and Assertiveness, and she is also a qualified Mental Health First Aid trainer.

Sophie O'Donoghue - Customer Relationship Manager (Swindon, Wiltshire, West of England)

Sophie's role comprises of building and maintaining relationships with new clients in the Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Swindon and Wiltshire areas. Sophie works closely with key personnel within client companies to ensure HR Champions can provide the correct learning and development experience to meet their individual needs. You might find Sophie attending networking events (especially Cheese Club!) to ensure we are up-to-date with all the upcoming development trends.


Tom Holmes - Customer Relationship Manager (Worcestershire)

Tom is the main point of contact for all training needs in Worcestershire and Warwickshire, from the initial client consultation, to signing up each individual delegate before they start their first day of training. You can find Tom at many networking events across the two counties or contact us directly for any training enquires you may have.


Emily Priest - Training Administration Manager 

Emily supports our learners to complete their qualifications by facilitating the administration processes, marking and internally verifying all ILM submissions to support our accreditation as a ILM centre, and providing guidance and motivation to succeed! 

Jordan Sharpe – Training Administrator

Jordan facilitates our learners customer journey on all of our funded training programmes, by supporting the training associates with all pre-course materials and logistics, and funded training administration processes to ensure our learners achieve their accredited qualifications!

Betty - Employee Wellbeing Officer

It’s widely recognised that having a pet in the workplace help to promote a sense of wellbeing and reduce stress amongst employees. I’ve been a member of the team at HR Champions for over eight years now, in fact ever since I was house-trained, and I take my duties of being cute and cuddly very seriously. I’m very popular amongst staff and visitors and I like to meet the delegates on training days. You’ll often see me sat in the window at the office so feel free to come and say hi and bring me a treat. In my spare time I like going for walks and chasing squirrels.


Training Associates

  • Nick Howell
  • Sian Fletcher
  • Tara Mills
  • Donald Johnstone
  • Kim Harvey
  • Jason Chatwin
  • Martyn Roberts
  • Penny Newton
  • Steve Harris