Central England Co-op Funeralcare colleagues across Leicestershire and Northants going above and beyond to support families during Coronavirus outbreak

Stories of funeral home colleagues in Leicestershire and Northamptonshire going above and beyond to support families during difficult times have been shared to highlight their role as key workers during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

While it has undoubtedly been a challenging period for colleagues at Central England Co-op Funeralcare, the teams have been working tirelessly to ensure families are supported as fully as possible and treated with the upmost compassion.

During Dying Matters Week (May 11-17) Central England Co-op Funeralcare is shining a light on some of the key workers in their funeral teams who have been going the extra mile to support families and to ensure the Society can provide outstanding service in challenging circumstances.

The team at Central England Co-op Funeralcare’s Humberstone Road care centre have been working around the clock managing major changes enforced by the onset of the pandemic and ensuring families are fully informed, cared for and able to say goodbye to their loved ones in the most respectful way possible in the current situation.

Among these funeral heroes is Senior Funeral Director Pam Sheppard who has been instrumental in the leadership of that team, engaging with colleagues and encouraging them to be able to suggest ideas many of which have come to fruition to improve the service provided.

Senior Administrator Sam Sarson has also been praised for balancing her regular duties while coping with extra demand, leading a team to adapt quickly to operate in different ways to protect colleagues and offer families what they need in a challenging situation.

Funeral Services Assistant Phil Hayes was also praised for his adaptability in these unprecedented times, dealing with changes at a quick pace and for getting his peers engaged in looking at new ways of working to ensure the team were in the best place it could be to deal with demand.

Phil’s colleagues Leon Cass and Steve Hunt have also been commended, Leon for working around the clock to source vital items of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and hand sanitiser to protect colleagues and Steve for working quickly to create extra capacity at Humberstone Road.

Embalmers Andy Goves and Adam Palmer have also risen to the challenges they have faced adjusting to new ways of working and liaising with national funeral and embalming industry bodies to develop new processes at pace.

Meanwhile, Corby-based Senior Funeral Director’s Richard Tilley and Aiden Phillips’s contribution has also been highlighted for their tireless work leading on relationships with coroners and hospital trusts in Northamptonshire.

Lee Dillow, Central England Co-op Funeralcare Area Manager, said colleagues have been showing incredible dedication to adapting to unimaginable changes to the service they can provide and ensuring families are fully supported at this time.

He said: “It never ceases to amaze me how our colleagues will truly go above and beyond to ensure the families we support receive the most compassionate and respectful service possible.

“That level of service has rarely been as important as it is now, and I am so proud of all the Central England Co-op Funeralcare teams for how they are serving their communities during this unprecedented period and to how they have adapted so quickly to unprecedented and rapid changes in the funeral industry.

“Those colleagues who have been highlighted showcase the very best in co-operative values but there are countless others across our teams who are equally worthy of recognition.”

People can keep up to date with how Central England Co-op is responding to the Coronavirus by visiting 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