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Now, more than ever, we’re incredibly proud of our colleagues. Our store colleagues, drivers and depot colleagues, funeral care and support centre colleagues, and of course our Member Pioneers: these local heroes have been going above and beyond in supporting their local communities. 

Our Member Pioneers have a crucial part to play. Day to day, they co-operate with their community to identify what could really make a difference. They bring together Co-op members, colleagues and local causes to make their community a better place in which to work, play, live and learn. 

And they are working harder than ever during this pandemic. So, thank you to all of our Member PioneersThank you for the incredible ways you’re supporting your communities.  

Here’s just 5 great stories I wanted to share.  

Thank you, Lia, for comforting the recently bereaved 

Lia has joined a group of local volunteers to make scrub bags for NHS workers. She’s also supported grieving families by knitting hearts to give to hospitals for when a loved one dies of coronavirus. One heart is given to the patient and another one stays with their families as they can't be with them. She has also been instrumental in developing a Facebook page to help the vulnerable in her community, which now has over 1000 members.

Thank you, Graham, and team for helping feed NHS workers and those in need 

Our Member Pioneers for Cardiff and Vale have been working with Co-op Area Manager, Giles Jenkins and Member Pioneer Coordinator, Graham Craven, to arrange the collection of food from 18 Co-op stores across Cardiffevery day. The food is delivered to the Waterloo Tea Rooms who in turn arrange for chefs from closed local restaurants and cafes to make meals for NHS Staff at the University Hospital of Wales and others. These local chefs are currently producing over 400 meals per day and have plans to step up production to a staggering 1,000 meals per day within the next couple of weeks. 

 Thank you, Denise, for helping people stay healthy at home 

Denise Nesbitt has been finding creative ways to support her community from home. She’s created a series of ‘Mrs Nesbitt’s Kitchen’ videos, promoting healthy eating and to demonstrate ways the community can use store cupboard ingredients to make tasty and nutritious meals. We love that Denise does all this dressed in her Co-op apron!  

Thank you, Steven, Linda and Gillian, for, spreading sunshine to those in isolation 

 Steven Connelly set up a ‘sunshine through your letterbox’ initiative to help spread some colour and positivity to elderly, isolated and vulnerable people in his community. Children across Ayrshire have created drawings, poems and uplifting messages which are being posted to care homes. Steven, Linda Watt and Gillian Cunningham contacted local nursing homes and community coronavirus groups to ask if they would like to take part and drummed up support from local radio stations, newspapers and STV news to ask them to help spread the word. The team have received lovely feedback from the community and were featured in the local paper. 

Thank you, David, for virtually raising spirits  

Member Pioneer and Store Manager David Appleton has been raising community spirits during the pandemic with a virtual pub on Facebook to help keep the community connected. Around 250 people join the video calls on a weekly basis for games like Play Your Cards Right and Bingo, quiz nights, DJ nights and even live musician sets. People can also use the group to ask for help and support as well as raising money for a coronavirus support group 

Learn more about our Member Pioneer roles and how you can help make a difference in your community. 

Fay Bowden 

National Member Pioneer Manager 

Member Pioneer Vacancies