Central England Co-op celebrates over 2,300 years of colleague long service at special awards event

Posted by rob smyth | Published: 07/12/2021

A special celebration event has been held to recognise 72 Central England Co-op colleagues who were honoured for a combined 2,310 years of long service.

Colleagues from all areas of the Society were invited to the event which took place at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire and those in attendance were able to enjoy the festive atmosphere at the famous stately home alongside a special ceremony to mark their fantastic service.

Central England Co-op holds Long Service Awards every year to thank and reward employees for their hard work, loyalty and service to the Society, customers and members and includes a special afternoon tea in the picturesque setting at Chatsworth.

However, due to the pandemic the event could not be held last year so those who reached their milestones in 2020 were also invited along to this year’s event.

The 74 colleagues recognised at the event have reached the landmark of 30 or 40 years this year or last and are from all areas of the Society, including food stores, funeral homes and its distribution centre, in Leicester.

Among those recognised was Robin Farrell, Head of Distribution and Logistics based at the Society’s Distribution Centre in Leicester who has reached 40 years of service with Central England Co-op.

Also reaching 40 years was Store Manager Ian Booth, Store Manager at Station Road, Shepley, as did Customer Services Assistant at Fleckney Valerie Muyijimi, while Gary Waters, Team Leader at the Carlton Colville store in Suffolk has reached an incredible 45 years of service.

Sarah Dickins, Chief People Officer at Central England Co-op, said: “It was wonderful to spend time with so many colleagues who embody our values and principles and who have shown such commitment to our Society. Their level of dedication is incredibly humbling and deserving of our recognition.

“After not being able to celebrate the milestones in person last year due to the pandemic, it has been such a pleasure to invite those colleagues who missed out and celebrate with them too for their incredible service.

“I am so very proud to be part of a co-operative society with such a fantastic record of long serving colleagues.”


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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 and property investment.


Owned by hundreds of thousands of members, its over 7,800 colleagues serve customers across 400 plus trading sites in 16 counties in the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.


Its purpose is to inspire communities to create a sustainable Society for all.


It actively campaigns for the Government to increase sentencing for violent attacks on retail workers and works with FareShare Midlands and hundreds of food banks, generating enough food donations to create over 2.1 million meals for people in need.


The Society embraces inclusivity and equality and is a signed-up member to the Business in the Community (BITC) Race at Work Charter, while it is also fully committed to addressing the impact of climate change and is on track to be Carbon Neutral by 2030. 


It invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities through its Community Dividend Fund scheme which has seen over £175,000 shared out between 116 good causes over the past 12 months.


Central England Co-op was named Leading Co-op of the Year by Co-operatives UK in 2021.


Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle


Phone - 01543 421390


Email - publicrelations@centralengland.coop