Central England Co-op head office team take on mammoth 24/7 walking challenge for Dementia UK

A team at Central England Co-op are ‘doing it for dementia nurses’ by taking on a mammoth challenge to not only raise vital funds but also support their own mental and physical wellbeing.

The Lichfield-based retailer’s Data and Analytics team are tackling the sizeable challenge of doing one million steps in seven days as they look to raise money for its charity partner Dementia UK as they support its 24/7 Challenge.

The charity has been running the initiative to raise funds for dementia nurses throughout August as it reminds people that the need for specialist dementia support doesn’t stop during a pandemic.

Families facing dementia need support now more than ever to help them cope with the double difficulty of dementia and the coronavirus – for these families it is a 24/7 challenge.

The Central England Co-op team will spend seven days pounding the pavements or the running machine to complete one million steps between eight team members, the equivalent of walking 24 hours a day over 7 days.

Marta Foley, Customer Analytics Manager, said: “We are a brand-new team, so I thought it would be really nice to do something as a team, even when we cannot be together as we continue to work remotely from home during the pandemic.

“Because of that we are all tending to be sat at our computers and seated more so I thought it would be nice to do a challenge that would force us away from the computer and to get active. Therefore, it is about supporting the team’s mental and physical wellbeing, as well as helping Dementia UK.

“Like many charities they are facing a really challenging situation at the moment with a dip in donations during COVID-19 so we really wanted to support them.

“The team were up for it and have really ran with it and when they heard about Dementia UK’s 24/7 challenge they thought it would be great to take that on.”

Fellow team member and data analyst Cristina Jipa explained how the challenge will work.

She said: “We came up with doing one million steps in one week based on the idea that the team will be walking a combined total of 24 hours every day, so it will work out that each of us will do around three hours a day

“We will all record our steps in the same mobile app, so we can see each day where we are and keep a track. We are aiming to raise £1,000 but it would be great to raise more for such a good cause.”

Jamie Clark, also a data analyst, said the team felt it was important to challenge themselves if they wanted to encourage colleagues, friends and family to donate.

He said: “We wanted make it a stretch to encourage people to support us. I like to exercise so I am looking forward to it, while for other members of the team it will be out of their comfort zone.

“I was due to run the Brighton Marathon next month but that has been cancelled so I still wanted to do something for charity and this is a great way of doing it.”

As well as Marta, Cristina and Jamie, the team members taking on the challenge are Head of Data and Analytics Mike Brough, Data Engineering Manager Craig Farmer, Business Intelligence Developer Alan Smith, Category Analytics Manager Tom Giblin and Data Analyst Rohan Patel.

The challenge runs from August 22-29 and to support the team visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/500milesdataguys


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.

Co-operatives have always been there for their communities; they were formed to protect them and help them flourish.  

Our 7,900 colleagues who serve 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