Socially distanced outdoor Tai-Chi session helps isolated members of Central England Co-op

A Tai-Chi group left isolated by lockdown has finally been able to enjoy a special session – by heading for a socially distanced outdoor meet-up.

Due to lockdown, the ever-popular Tai-chi class run by Central England Co-op in Ilkeston had turned to the video conferencing app Zoom in an attempt to keep classes available to Members at home.

However, some people were still not able to take part so resourceful course leader Patricia got her thinking cap on and came up with the idea, as lockdown restrictions began to ease, of meeting up in a local park to enjoy some unique exercise.

Tanya Noon, Membership and Community Relations Officer at Central England Co-op, said: “Our Members are a major part of our co-operative difference, and during this time of uncertainty, we have been doing everything we can to keep connected to them and ensure they keep active and have some contact during social isolation.

“We understand how important the many wonderful groups and activities we provide are to our Members, particularly to those who may otherwise not have the chance to interact and socialise and to whom these groups can be a real lifeline.

“Therefore, it has been so heartening to see how our membership team, group leaders and tutors, as well as the Members themselves, are doing what they can to keep in touch with each other during this temporary pause.

“In this case, our tutor Patricia, was conscious of the fact that not all members of our Tai-Chi class could access online meetings and were missing out.

“So we thought it would be a good idea to get them all together, but only when it was safe to do so.

“This saw us gather in Victoria Park for an outdoor Tai-Chi session, a socially distanced session that is!

“We found a quite spot and the class had a lovely afternoon catching up and enjoying some exercise.

“The members went home feeling much more engaged and thoroughly enjoyed the session.”



Notes to editors


Picture caption: The Tai-Chi members in action outdoors.


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.


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