Central England Co-op celebrates contributions of its ‘frontline fathers’ going and above beyond to support their communities in Northants

Central England Co-op is marking Father’s Day this Sunday by celebrating some of the fathers who have been working on the frontline in its food stores and funeral homes during these uncertain times.

Over the past three months colleagues in the Society’s 262 food stores and petrol stations, as well as 132 Funeral Homes have been providing vital food and essentials and supporting families during such difficult circumstances.

Many at the same time have had to balance their key work for their communities with the challenges of disruption to home life with the closure of schools and nurseries, dealing with life in lockdown with small children and often unable to call on family for support.

To mark Father’s Day, Central England Co-op is shining a light on some of its ‘frontline fathers’ and finding out how they and their families have managed during these challenging times.

Among them is Aiden Phillips, Central England Co-op Senior Funeral Director in Corby, Northamptonshire, who has been working tirelessly to support families through these unprecedented times while balancing work with two young children at home – Ethan, five, and Arthur, two.

The 35-year-old said: “It has been difficult at times, but my line manager has been really supportive which has helped a lot. Family time has always been very important to me, but the current situation definitely makes you value family time even more.

“Overall I think the boys have enjoyed themselves; balancing home learning and playtime has been difficult, and both boys have missed their friends and family, but they have dealt with everything really well.”

Among Aiden’s duties during these demanding times for funeral directors has been leading on relationships with coroners and hospital trusts in Northamptonshire, as well as supporting families who have lost loved ones.

He also joined fellow funeral directors at Central England Co-op Funeralcare in being part of a series of films the Society has created to explain to families how caring for their loved ones has changed due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Aiden said he sees his role supporting families through these difficult times as a privilege and hopes his sons are proud of what he does.

He said: “I think the boys are proud of me being a keyworker, although I’m not sure they fully understand what’s involved with my job. Both the boys seem very happy to see me when I get home which is lovely!”

People can keep up to date with what is happening in their local community in response to Coronavirus by visiting a dedicated online hub at www.centralengland.coop/updates


Notes to editors

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 www.centralengland.coop for more information or follow us on Facebook or Twitter using @mycoopfood

Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle

Phone - 01543 421390

Email - publicrelations@centralengland.coop