Central England Co-op issues heartfelt thanks to hundreds of temporary colleagues for support during uncertain times

Central England Co-op has said ‘thank you’ to the hundreds of temporary colleagues who have supported its stores to ensure communities have had access to vital food and essentials during the COVID-19 pandemic as many head back to their full-time careers.

From an actor, to a football physio and a head chef, people from all walks of life heeded the call at the onset of the pandemic when the retailer’s food stores faced unprecedented demand to keep shelves stocked and its customers and Members supplied.

Central England Co-op launched an urgent recruitment drive for temporary Customer Service Advisors in many of its stores in April and thousands stepped up to support and quickly became part of the team leaving lasting impressions.

Many people took on the roles as they saw their normal careers paused as a result of the pandemic and ensuing lockdown, while others merely wanted to ‘do their bit’, even former Co-op store managers who came out of retirement to take on temporary jobs.

As the store colleagues say farewell to many of these temporary retail heroes as they head back to their normal day jobs in other industries, Central England Co-op has thanked them for their tireless and much-valued efforts over the last few months.

Claire Koziol, Group Manager at Central England Co-op, said: “As a food retailer we have been on the frontline during these uncertain times serving a vital role ensuring our communities have had access to food and essentials.

“It has been an unprecedented period and we have been indebted to the additional support our fantastic store teams have received from temporary colleagues, particularly at the height of the demand in March.

“I would like to say a big thank you to all those people who have given their time and worked tirelessly for the cause during the last few months, particularly when many have been facing uncertainty and upheaval in their normal jobs.

“When I have been visiting stores, I have been hearing so many stories of how well our temporary colleagues have fitted in and become part of the team and I’m delighted that we have been able to retain a number of these colleagues permanently.

“However, to those heading back to the day job I would like to wish them all the very best.”

People can keep up to date with what is happening in their local community in response to Coronavirus by visiting a dedicated online hub at www.centralengland.coop/updates


Notes to editors

About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral and property investment.

Co-operatives have always been there for their communities; they were formed to protect them and help them flourish.  

Our 7,900 colleagues who serve Members and customers work hard to ensure that co-operative values, principles and spirit flow through everything we do to help support and improve our local communities.

Owned by hundreds of thousands of Members, we have over 430 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. 

We are proud of our reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.

We invest a percentage of our trading profit into local communities through our Community Dividend Fund scheme, have donated over £1.3 million to our corporate charity partner Dementia UK and also operate a pioneering food redistribution partnership with FareShare Midlands so unsold food goes to those in need.

Visit www.centralengland.coop for more information or follow us on Facebook or Twitter using @mycoopfood

Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle

Phone - 01543 421390

Email - publicrelations@centralengland.coop