Co-op florists in Birmingham aim to bring community together to create vital items to help animals injured in devastating Australian fires

A team of Co-op florists is joining forces with the local community to create possum pouches, koala mittens and joey snugglies for animals badly injured in the devastating fires in Australia.

Central England Co-op Florist, in Walsall Road, Great Barr, the Society’s local funeral homes and dozens of local community groups are all working together to make these vital items after being moved by the fires which are currently engulfing south-eastern Australia.

It is estimated that 25 people and millions of animals have died since the fires began in September due to record temperatures and widespread drought.

Hundreds of thousands of animals, including possums, koalas and joeys, have also been left with terrible injuries – resulting in the florists coming up with the idea to help in a bid to try and ensure they do not suffer while they recover.

Sue Carty, from Great Barr Florist, said: “We have all been struck by the terrible fires that have been consuming parts of Australia for months and knew that we had to do something to help.

“We saw a post online putting a call out to all local crafters asking them to create special mittens, pouches and snugglies that can be sent out to the brave volunteers and organisations supporting the animals that have been badly hurt.

“We are now supporting this great idea and working with our funeral homes in the area and local community groups to try and have the biggest impact we possibly can.

“Anyone interested in helping us out can nip into our shop or give us a call. If people cannot knit or sew they can help by donating materials such as 100% pure wool, 100% cotton knitting wool and 100% cotton fabric.

“Being part of the Central England Co-op means that we know the importance of being part of a community and this is a great way that we can get our fantastic community to help another that is suffering at the moment.”

People can contact the Central England Co-op Florist, in Great Barr, by calling 0121 358 6641.


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 or visiting


For more information visit, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, and on Facebook:


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


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