Central England Co-op celebrates one year since signing pledge to raise mental health awareness

Today marks the one year anniversary of Central England Co-op signing the Time to Change Employer Pledge and vowing to break the silence around mental health.

Ever since Chief Executive Martyn Cheatle put pen to paper on the pledge 12 months ago major strides have been made as part of a long-term commitment aimed at raising awareness about mental health problems.

The Society has launched several initiatives offering support to those who are battling mental health issues following the signing of the pledge.

These include:

  • Mental health first aid training courses, dementia friendly awareness sessions and mindfulness workshops – over 30 events that over 400 colleagues have attended
  • Creating 50 mental health and wellbeing champions who offer support by signposting colleagues towards resources and help regarding mental health.
  • Launched a colleague assistance programme, which is a 24-hour, seven day a week, confidential helpline
  • Conference for the 50 mental health and wellbeing champions, in conjunction with Time to Change, for them to find out more about their roles, share best practice and learn about supporting each other

Tracey Orr, Support Services Executive, has spearheaded the Society’s efforts to tackle the issue of mental health as part of a specially formed mental health working party.

She said: “The health and wellbeing of all of our colleagues is of the utmost importance to us and this was why it was vital we signed up to this initiative.

“During the past 12 months we have raised awareness around the importance of mental health and wellbeing at work, championed the issue by providing the resources and tools for all colleagues and helped break the culture of silence around mental health.”

“Our Society is now more focused than ever in providing support for those who need it and working hard to end the discrimination and stigma associated with mental health.”

Time to Change is a national mental health campaign, launched in 2009 by mental health charities MIND and Rethink with the objective of reducing health related stigma and discrimination.

The pledge is an aspirational statement which indicates to colleagues, members and customers that Central England Co-op wants to take action to tackle the stigma and discrimination around mental health, focusing on the workplace in particular.

Notes to editors

Picture caption: Martyn Cheatle, Chief Executive of Central England Co-operative, signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge surrounded by colleagues at the Society’s Boley Park supermarket, in Lichfield.

About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK. 


It is a modern, forward-looking organisation employing over 8,000 staff, with the Society’s principal areas of activity being food, funeral services, and property investment.


Central England Co-operative has over 400 trading outlets across 16 counties including; West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.  The Society has an ambitious food store development programme for 2018.


Central England Co-operative is proud of its reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.  It is a member of Business in the Community, the membership organisation that stands for responsible business, and has also won many business awards for excellence.  The Society supports a number of charities including Dementia UK and invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities.


Becoming a member of Central England Co-operative offers a whole host of benefits ranging from collecting points every time you spend in store to earn a share of the profits, access to members activities and community initiatives including the Community Dividend Fund, which hands out grants of up to £5,000 to charities and good causes across the Society’s trading estate.

Find out how to become a Central England Co-operative member by calling 0800 0501 601, emailing members@centralengland.coop or visiting https://www.members.coop


For more information visit www.centralengland.coop, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, and on Facebook: facebook.com/centralenglandcooperative


Rob Smyth / Heather Clapton at Central England Co-operative on 01543 414140


Email –publicrelations@centralengland.coop