If your business is to grow, take care of your people

Passionate about small business and the people who work in them, I provide HR services for small businesses.  I believe that building strong and engaged teams is the key to a business’ success.

Choosing prevention over cure; I work with business leaders to ensure you have the company culture, people management processes and policies in place before something goes wrong.  This limits the amount of time and energy spent putting things right and allows us to focus on developing great teams of great people who will help drive your business.  HR shouldn’t be about policing policies and ticking boxes, but growing great teams.  If you value your people, they will value your business as much as you do.

You have an accountant to look after your money; having HR support to look after your biggest asset, investment and risk is just good business.

Core Services

Let us take care those who keep your business running, you can focus on making it grow

Outsourced HR, HR, Outsourcing, HR Services

Outsourced HR Services

People Management, HR, Employer, Employee, Human Resources

People Management

HR, HR policies, statutory HR, employer

HR Policies & HR Processes

HR software, HR, HR system

HR Software

Recruitment Services

Recruitment Services

Onboarding, new starter, employee, recruitment

New Starter Onboarding

Exit interview, leaver, exit

staff engagement surveys

Grievance, mediation, employee, employer, tribunal

Mediation and Grievances

Solving common issues and challenges

You’re not alone, most small businesses suffer the same challenges.

To take the pain out of HR admin and free up your time, I’ve partnered with breatheHR to provide easy-to-use HR software especially designed for SMEs.
Click here to find out more!

HR software, HR system

About Me

Maria Riley

Hi, I’m Maria.

I have 15+ years’ experience working in people and operations management in the corporate world across several industries.  Tired of helping big business, I now use my knowledge and experience by helping start-ups and SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) on a flexible basis to make a difference to real lives by:

  • working with business leaders to improve the way they manage their people – saving time and money
  • creating strong teams which are dedicated and focused – because they want to be there
  • putting the right structure in place – enabling businesses to develop and grow
  • limiting problems from arising  – prevention is always better than cure

On a personal note, I’m a travel and adventure addict.  I love nature and wildlife, getting away from cities and into the wild are what keep me sane.

I’d love to help you improve work/life balance, your business flourish and keep your people happy.


“Acorns & Oaks has been absolutely amazing to work with! They set great expectations & deliver the work on time. Maria is incredibly helpful & takes the time to listen & understand our business so that she can implement a tailored approach to us directly. Very relieved to have finally found great HR support.”

Katja Schreiber, Disobey Ltd

“Maria offers everything you need from an HR consultant and more! She’s professional, reassuring and provides the essential support for a growing business. She can help with the standard framework but also the more complex scenarios that HR can throw at you. She’s also really good just to talk things through when you need a bit of clarity.

I can highly recommend Acorns & Oak, not sure what we’d do without Maria.”

Kate Whitling, Illuminate Skin Clinics Limited

“I had an HR issue that I had never had to deal with before and, although ignorant of the procedures, I was aware that the consequences of getting it wrong could be very serious. I therefore asked Maria for help, and her knowledge and advice were invaluable. She understood my concerns and, as well as setting out the legal requirements in detail, she offered practical solutions that meant the issue was dealt with before it became a major problem. I will definitely be turning to Maria for assistance in the future, she offers great support in a number of areas that most small business owners do not deal with on a regular basis – an extremely useful and financially effective service.”

Linden Weller, Managing Partner, Dennehy Weller

“Acorn & Oaks have been a fountain of knowledge and support to me in my small business as I transitioned from a one-man band, into bringing on contractors and later employees. Maria’s easy going approach really put me at ease and I 100% would recommend her to anyone looking for HR support. Thank you Maria!”

Clare Henson-Bowen, Bespoke Wellbeing

“We use Maria for a host of HR business used and beyond. She really fits in and becomes one of the team. Not only can she provide the business with policies and procedures, but recruitment, strategy for growth, staff performance and so on. She can lead the full HR function of a business ranging from small to large. She was recommended to us and I would not hesitate in recommending her to any SME looking to up their game in the HR department.”

Richard Chambers, Get A Drip Ltd

Latest Blog Posts

  • remote working, team management, coronavirus, work from home

Tips for managing your team remotely

March 25th, 2020|

Many businesses already have some form of remote working as an option for staff, that might be working from home occasionally or possibly one day a week.  But that is very different to managing teams [...]

  • remote working, home office, work from home

Tips for successful remote working

March 24th, 2020|

For many, remote working became a completely new experience during the pandemic and it was  challenging for some.  As many of us continue in a hybrid world, we're sharing some things that you can do [...]

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Get in Touch

Contact: Maria Riley
Email: hello@acornsandoaks.uk
Phone: 07787 582981

Breathe HR Software