Central England Co-op Funeralcare team take on ‘Walk to Ukraine’ challenge to show support for those impact by war

Posted by james brindle | Published: 23/05/2022

A group of senior leaders from Central England Co-op’s Funeralcare team are spending the month of May clocking up the miles as part of a special walking challenge to raise funds for relief efforts in Ukraine.

The team are aiming to collectively walk 1,646 miles during the month, the distance from the Society’s Lichfield headquarters to Ukraine, to raise funds for the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

The challenge has been organised by Jason Tomkins, Operations Lead for Floral and Masonry, and he explained the reasons why he and his colleagues wanted to take it on.

He said: “I wanted to do a team event that would be able to include as many people as possible while doing something that could help support colleagues’ health and wellbeing and promote a healthy lifestyle.

“I was also keen to do something that was inclusive for everyone to join in which is why we chose a walking challenge; you don’t need to be an Olympic athlete to take part.

“Seeing the impact of the Russian invasion on the people of Ukraine, we wanted to do something as a Funeral team that would make a difference to the people impacted by the conflict.

“We’ve held walking team meetings, family walks and had some colleagues even start their running journeys on the back of this challenge which has been great to see. It’s all helping a fantastic cause while also bringing benefits for the team’s health and wellbeing.

“We are hoping to raise £500 through the challenge if we can and I’d like to thank everyone who has supported so far.”

Central England Co-op has given its backing to the DEC campaign, signposting colleagues to the appeal and taking donations in its food stores which have so far raised over £20,000, with customers and members still able to donate in store.

To find out more about the challenge and how to donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jason-tomkins3


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 and property investment.

Owned by hundreds of thousands of members, its over 8,000 colleagues serve customers across 400 plus trading sites in 20 counties in the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.

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 contact: James Brindle, Public Relations Lead

Contact details: www.centralengland.coop/press-and-media