Central England Co-op provides an update on how it is working hard to support its communities

Central England Co-operative has provided an update on the measures it has put in place to ensure its communities continue to be served.

The Society, which has over 400 food stores and funeral homes across 16 counties, has been leading the way to ensure its colleagues and customers continue to have access to food, essentials and vital services in the local community.

A range of measures have been put in place to support. These have included:

  • Implementing social distancing requirements across its entire family of businesses to keep colleagues and customers safe
  • Employing an extra 150 security guards in stores and its distribution network, giving almost 2,000 extra hours of support to keep people safe and ensure security measures are adhered to
  • Recruiting over 1,000 extra colleagues to help in stores, including support from across its other businesses in travel, floral and head office
  • Installing almost 1,000 kiosk and checkout screens
  • Sourcing tens of thousands of gloves, and masks ready to use in our stores and funeral homes
  • Implementing the new £45 contactless limit
  • Looking after hundreds of families in funeral as well as implanting several major changes to the way people say goodbye to their loved ones
  • Launching a 10% discount and priority access for NHS staff and rewarded staff for their hard work
  • Working with councils in Lichfield and Stafford to launch pioneering schemes aimed at getting food to the most vulnerable
  • Donating over 30,000 items to food bank partners as a result of an ongoing urgent food bank appeal
  • Supporting long-term partners Dementia UK and FareShare Midlands with significant donations to ensure the vital work they do in the community can continue

Debbie Robinson, Chief Executive, said: “As a co-operative retailer, we want to make sure we are leading the way for our communities during this difficult time.
“We hope that these measures and the work of our colleagues, members and customers show that we are coming together for our communities during this uncertain time and reacting to the challenges we face.”

People can keep up to date with how Central England Co-op is responding to the Coronavirus by visiting 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, travel 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