Debbie Watson

Wednesday’s Child – Online HR Toolkit Case Study


Wednesday’s Child is a not-for-profit organisation, supporting those affected by, or wishing to have greater understanding of, eating disorders.

Founded in Suffolk in 2019, it now delivers therapy, befriending, training and recovery-focused support programmes for hundreds of sufferers, their family and carers, as well as for teachers and education professionals.


Having started from very humble beginnings, based on the lived experience of one East Anglian businesswoman, Wednesday’s Child’s social enterprise format grew rapidly and in many different directions throughout 2020 – in part due to the huge demand on services as a result of the lockdown.

Eating disorder referrals soared throughout the UK during the pandemic, and Wednesday’s Child picked up a significant following as a result of its podcast and social activity.

This gave way to more and more requests on the organisation for therapy referral, and subsequently meant Wednesday’s Child needed to hire, restructure, and plan swiftly and strategically.

“When Covid stormed on to the scene in 2020, we saw a huge uplift in people interested in how we were tackling in eating disorders, and our response was to accelerate the pace at which we responded to market need,” says founder, Debbie Watson.

“Initially, keeping up with documentation, policies and framework guidance was just about manageable – but then when larger healthcare providers started coming to us to outsource their patient work, it was clear we needed help with more formal planning and processes.”

“Great Team”

“We have been working with MAD HR for a number of years, we love working with the team. They are so knowledgeable, responsive great customer service. We feel really confident our HR and business is in safe hands.” Read the full review

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Why the MAD-HR Toolkit?

Debbie says: “As a not-for-profit, we don’t have enough money at this stage in our development to immediately hire a team of professionals to be in-house and focusing on recruitment and retention, or policies and procedures.

“What we could do, however, was find a way of accessing a library of constantly updated material which would allow us to respond to commissioning teams and contracting businesses in a much more formal and watertight way.

The Toolkit is perfect for that. It has meant that we’re armed with all sorts of templates and advisory documents which would otherwise cost us a fortune – and take a long time – to access.”

The greatest benefit of tool engagement:

“Manageable costs and the sheer size of the knowledge resource are clear winners for an organisation such as ours,” adds Debbie.

“There’s a real comfort in knowing you can swiftly access something which is written with genuine legally compliant HR expertise.

“You can’t put a price on that peace of mind!”.

Top tips for others

Debbie says: “My greatest tip for anyone in a similar boat to what we were, is simply: stop procrastinating, and think about the time and opportunity lost by trying to do all the research and creation for yourself from scratch.

“As an ambitious, but very small and financially lean organisation, we wanted to be responsive to business opportunities and to keep our eye on the goal of helping as many eating disorder sufferers as possible.

“Time spent trying to get lawyers to draw up bespoke documents, or recruiting an in-house specialist we didn’t yet need, would simply have been time not deployed in the right areas.

“We’re really enjoying working with MAD-HR and are grateful for their support of Wednesday’s Child.”