Birmingham Co-op colleague uses her sewing expertise to support frontline NHS workers

A Birmingham Central England Co-op colleague is using her spare time away from the shopfloor to help make vital clothing for NHS frontline workers.

Beth Huckerby, who works at the retailer’s Marsh Lane store, in Erdington, has revealed that when she finishes her part-time role helping her local community have access to vital food and essentials she heads home and uses her sewing machine to create vital Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) overalls for local frontline health workers.

The 35-year-old said: “I have loved sewing for as long as I can remember, it has always been a hobby of mine.

“After the Coronavirus outbreak started I saw a post on Facebook asking for people who could sew to help support the NHS and I knew straight away it was something that I wanted to do to help out.

“I get material dropped off on a Friday and then have a week to turn it into clothing for people helping to save lives. I handed back my first package of 20 pieces of clothing just the other day and it felt so good to be able to help out.

“We are all really proud of being frontline workers and it is great to be able to help the local community in my role at Central England Co-op and also be able to support our NHS heroes.”

The online campaign, called NHS PPE Campaign, is a collective of volunteers who make vital PPE overalls for NHS workers for free across the entire country.

Dan Goodby, Store Manager at Marsh Lane, said: “Our entire team here at Marsh Lane have been working around the clock and going the extra mile to ensure our communities have access to everything they need.

“Beth is a great example of how our teams are going the extra mile. When she isn’t at work, she is dedicating her spare time to making clothing and PPE for our amazing NHS. She is a credit to our store and Central England Co-op. Well done Beth!”

Central England Co-op is currently offering a 10% discount for all NHS workers to say thank you for their efforts working on the frontline to help tackle the Coronavirus.

All NHS workers have to do is show their ID card when they visit any of the retailer’s 242 food stores to receive 10% off all food and other essentials.

They will also be able to get priority access to Central England Co-op stores by moving to the front of any external queue when waiting to enter.

People can keep up to date with what is happening in their local community by visiting a dedicated online hub at



Notes to editors


Picture caption: Beth Huckerby, from Central England Co-op.


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 serving our 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.


Visit for more information or follow us on Facebook or Twitter using @mycoopfood


Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle


Phone - 01543 421390


Email -