Extra day off for over 7,800 Co-op colleagues in recognition of their efforts in helping the retailer be named Leading Co-op of the Year

Posted by rob smyth | Published: 09/08/2021

Central England Co-op is rewarding all of its colleagues with an extra day off in recognition of their role in the Society being named Leading Co-op of the Year for Co-operatives UK.

Over 7,800 workers across food stores, funeral homes and supporting businesses in 16 counties have been given this recognition for their tireless efforts in supporting their communities over the past year.

Anyone employed by the Society as of July 2021 is eligible for the extra day’s holiday, which can be taken in the next 12 months.

Debbie Robinson, Central England Co-op Chief Executive, said: “We were all honoured to have been recognised as Leading Co-operative of the Year.

“Having worked through extraordinary times during the pandemic, it was fantastic recognition for our colleagues who have come to work each day to serve their communities.  We want to create a sustainable Society for all and that starts with our teams, who have worked tirelessly to sustain the wellbeing and safety of our members, customer and communities

“On behalf of our Board and members, I would like to say a great big thank you for their loyalty, dedication and commitment. We would love for colleagues to use this time to relax or treat themselves by doing something nice.”

The Society, which has over 400 stores and funeral homes, received the award after winning a public vote as part of the annual Co-operative of the Year Awards.  It was shortlisted for supporting communities during the pandemic, their ongoing partnerships with FareShare Midlands and food banks to create millions of meals a year for those in need, and for their steady progress against a target to become carbon neutral by 2030.

This extra day off comes after, last year, the Society rewarded all colleagues with extra week’s pay and enhanced discount for their efforts supporting local communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.



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.


Owned by hundreds of thousands of members, its over 7,800 colleagues serve customers across 400 plus trading sites in 16 counties in the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.


Its purpose is to inspire communities to create a sustainable Society for all.


It actively campaigns for the Government to increase sentencing for violent attacks on retail workers and works with FareShare Midlands and hundreds of food banks, generating enough food donations to create over 2.1 million meals for people in need.


The Society embraces inclusivity and equality and is a signed-up member to the Business in the Community (BITC) Race at Work Charter, while it is also fully committed to addressing the impact of climate change and is on track to be Carbon Neutral by 2030. 


It invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities through its Community Dividend Fund scheme which has seen over £175,000 shared out between 116 good causes over the past 12 months.


Central England Co-op was named Leading Co-op of the Year by Co-operatives UK in 2021.


Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle


Phone - 01543 421390


Email - publicrelations@centralengland.coop