Central England Co-op Travel colleagues to switch roles to support community food stores

Central England Co-op Travel colleagues are temporarily swapping booking holidays for supporting food stores to ensure local communities can continue to access food and essentials.
Colleagues from 24 Travel Shops are being redeployed to help support food stores in an effort to ensure the community continues to be served.
All Travel Shops will temporarily close, but customers will still be able to contact a dedicated team of Travel colleagues who are looking after enquiries and bookings via email and phone.
Paul Dale, Head of Travel, said: “The travel industry, like many others, is currently going through an unprecedented time.
“With our food stores busier than ever, we have taken the decision to temporarily close our Travel Shops so that we can redeploy our colleagues to support our stores, our food colleagues and our communities.
“In the meantime, our Travel teams have been working around the clock to support those who have had their holidays impacted by Coronavirus and I cannot thank them enough for that. 
“They are now more than happy to head into our food stores and offer an extra pair of hands to keep feeding the nation. We look forward to welcoming our customers, old and new, back to our shops in the near future.”
Anyone who needs to speak to a Travel colleague should call their local branch and they will be redirected to our support team to deal with their booking.
This is the latest in a range of measures being rolled out by Central England Co-op in an effort to continue leading the way in supporting its communities.
This includes:
•    An urgent food bank appeal to support its charity partners after they reported a major fall in donations at the same time as a spike in demand.
•    A mass recruitment drive for Customer Service Advisors in many of its stores to ensure the community continues to be served.
•    Donations to FareShare Midlands and Dementia UK to allow them to continue their vital community services
Central England Co-op is also asking all customers to show ‘care, compassion and respect’ to its colleagues as they work around the clock to serve their communities.
The retailer is asking people to come together and support its front-line colleagues who are going above and beyond to replenish stock levels and keep stores open.
In its food stores, the Society has also put in place a temporary limit of two of every product line to help maintain stock levels but has reassured customers that there are no issues with its robust supply lines and that shops are getting daily delivers.
People can keep up to date with what is happening in their local community 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. 

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

Central England Co-operative has 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.  The Society has an ambitious food store development programme for 2020.

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 several 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 and James Brindle at Central England Co-operative on 01543 421390

Email –publicrelations@centralengland.coop