Central England Co-op Funeralcare colleagues across the West Midlands going above and beyond to support families during Coronavirus outbreak

Stories of funeral home colleagues in the West Midlands 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 the 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.

Among these funeral heroes is Amanda Gallie, Senior Funeral Director in Solihull and Shirley, who has cancelled her holiday and worked across the Easter weekend to assist funeral homes and operations across the area, and as a true community champion she has been endeavouring to contact local care homes with advice and support.

Grace Bradbury, Senior Funeral Service Assistant at Central England Co-op Funeralcare in Stirchley, has moved two of her own holidays to cover colleague absence and has taken on additional responsibilities helping to manage the fleet of funeral vehicles across the Birmingham area.

Senior Funeral Administrator Beverley Taylor, also based in Stirchley, has organised all the cover for keeping the Society’s Birmingham Funeral Homes open for all families.

She continues to assist with new recruitment and supporting operations and not only worked herself, but organised colleagues to work over Easter weekend to support families’ needs.

Funeral Directors Michelle Varney, who covers the Maypole, Yardley Wood and Hall Green areas and Caroline Brant, who covers Homes in Droitwich and Redditch, have also been highlighted for praise for their proactive work to contact care homes and offer support.

Meanwhile Senior Funeral Director Maria Davis has been working tirelessly to cover Central England Co-op Funeralcare’s entire Birmingham funeral operation, overseeing two major care centres.

Arvel Lowe, Senior Funeral Service Assistant, has stood up as a true leader at the Society’s Great Brook Street Care Centre in Birmingham, supporting both the operation and every colleague in every way, going well and truly beyond the call of duty.

Simon Snell, Central England Co-op Funeralcare Area Manager for the West Midlands, said colleagues have been showing incredible dedication to supporting families 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 across the West Midlands 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