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I’ve worked for Co-op for 10 years. I joined the team part time to earn a little extra money whilst I studied at university. I hadn’t considered a future with Co-op, but I've had lots of opportunities to progress, and it wasn’t long before I felt a strong sense of belonging.  

Co-op feels different to other organisations I’ve worked for - the focus isn’t just profits, but on supporting and giving back to communities. The organisation has always stood out to me as being a catalyst for community support.  

Supporting celebration week  

I joined as a Customer Team Member and I’ve worked my way up, through Team Leader, Team Manager and I’m now a Store Manager. I’ve watched Co-op's support for communities continue to grow, and it’s a pleasure to celebrate the money our Members raise for local communities through the Local Community Fund every year. We call it celebration week, and every year I see my team celebrate with passion and dedication.   

Co-op stores and Funeralcare colleagues prepare for the week by reaching out to local causes, with the help of Member Pioneers. They bring together Co-op members, colleagues and local causes to help make communities a better place. As part of their amazing work, they promote the Co-op membership scheme, which raises funds for the local causes.  

Recognising our wonderful causes  

Our Food stores in Romford, and Co-op Funeralcare, helped raise over £15,000 for our three local causes over the last year. Local cause Hope 4 Havering came into store to celebrate and to meet some of the Members who had helped raise over £5,000 to support them. The money is helping to make a difference by facilitating food skills and training for young people affected by homelessness.  

It means a lot to our Food stores to see such wonderful local causes being supported. We hear so many stories of how our Members have helped change the lives of people in the community. I'm very proud to be part of it all.  

Joanne Gates   

Store Manager 

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