From laptops to lunches - Central England Co-operative supports Memory Club in Gorleston

Central England Co-operative continues to support a vital memory club in Gorleston by volunteering and donating food for lunches.

At the beginning of 2018, the Society’s Membership and Community Council provided a £400 grant to fund laptops for the memory club, which has over forty members.

The laptops have been used by the group to revive important memories. Group member Margery, 97, gets enthralled in what she can find out about past homes and happy times.

The group also aims to set up Skype on the laptops to allow members to talk to loved ones they do not usually see.

As well as providing the laptops, Debbie Bishop, Funeral Administrator from the Gorleston Funeral Home, regularly takes along food from the local Central England Co-operative Food Store in Bradwell to allow volunteers to cook a meal for members. She also stays to volunteer in any way she can to support the group during her visits.

Debbie said: “I saw the Gorleston Memory Club advertised in a local magazine and worked with Central England Co-operative’s Membership and Community Council to find ways to support it.

“The work they do is so valuable to members and their carers. Supporting them with the grant earlier this year and making regular donations of ingredients means people with dementia and memory loss have a place where they can remember good times and socialise.”

Membership and Community Relations Officer Kym Hunt said: “The Co-operative welcomes the opportunity to work with local communities to make a difference to people’s lives.

 “The continued involvement of colleagues from the Gorleston Funeral Home with the memory cub demonstrates our longstanding commitment to supporting members of the community with memory loss and their carers.”

The Gorleston Memory Club meets every Wednesday at the Methodist Church Hall, Magdalen Way, Gorleston-on-Sea, from 10am-2pm. Anyone can join and a local transport charity is available to bring people to the club. For more information about the memory club, visit

Central England Co-operative offers a wide range of educational and recreational workshops and classes for its members and communities. Anyone interested in finding out more can visit their local Central England Co-operative food store or email


Notes to editors

Photo captions: Pic 1: Debbie Bishop with group member Marjory reviving memories using a laptop funded by Central England Co-operative. Pic 2: Debbie Bishop with volunteers helping to provide lunch at the Gorleston Memory Club.

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, and property investment.

Central England Co-operative has over 400 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 2018.

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 a number of 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 at Central England Co-operative on 01543 414140

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