Co-op class helps Sarah turn floral hobby into new career

A Leicestershire woman is set for a rosy future as she embarks on a new career as a florist after being inspired by a class run for members of Central England Co-operative.

Sarah Sutton, 34, from Fleckney, has attended classes in floristry at St Nicholas Church Hall, Fleckney, for the past year and came to realise she has a passion for the craft. She has now found a new calling, securing a job with further training as a florist.

Sarah said: “Due to my portfolio of work I have created at the classes, I have been offered a position at an amazing florist in Leicester where they will train me further in commercial floristry. This is a complete change in direction for me.”

The Central England Co-op floristry class is run by Sharon McKinder, who has over 35 years’ experience in floristry. It is one of a wide range of classes offered by the Society.

Sarah said: “If it wasn’t for Sharon and the Co-op running these classes, I would never have realised the passion that I have for floristry. I would highly recommend the classes to everyone; whether you like the idea of having it as a hobby like I did, need some time just for you or if you want to learn new skills and meet other like-minded, super-friendly people.

“Sharon is incredible and shares her wealth of knowledge about floristry and you learn so much. Plus you take home amazing arrangements each week.”

The community-based classes are often themed around topics such as hobbies, countries, and  anniversaries. They can also be tailored to students’ requirements if they wish to learn a specific skill. 

Sharon McKinder said: “It’s wonderful news that Sarah has found her passion in floristry and has turned her newly-developed skills into a fresh career.”

Karen Bevan, Membership and Community Relations Officer, said: “We have really talented and experienced tutors at Central England Co-op classes, passing on their knowledge and skills to their students and providing valuable opportunities for people to come together and enjoy learning and socialising. Sarah’s success just goes to show there’s something for everyone, whether you just want to get out of the house, or get a new career.”

Anyone can join a class, but would need to become a Co-op member. More information on membership and other classes in Leicestershire is available by calling 01543 414140 or emailing

Notes to editors

Photo caption: Sarah Sutton starts her new career as a florist after discovering her passion at Central England Co-op class

About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK. 


It is a modern, forward-looking organisation employing over 8,000 staff, with the Society’s principal areas of activity being food, funeral services, travel shops, and property investment.


Central England Co-operative has over 400 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.  The Society has an ambitious food store development programme for 2019.


Central England Co-operative is proud of its reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.  It is a member of Business in the Community, the membership organisation that stands for responsible business, and has also won many business awards for excellence.  The Society supports a number of charities including Dementia UK and invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities.


Becoming a member of Central England Co-operative offers a whole host of benefits ranging from collecting points every time you spend in store to earn a share of the profits, access to members activities and community initiatives including the Community Dividend Fund, which hands out grants of up to £5,000 to charities and good causes across the Society’s trading estate.

Find out how to become a Central England Co-operative member by calling 0800 0501 601, emailing or visiting


For more information visit, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, and on Facebook:


Rob Smyth and James Brindle at Central England Co-operative on 01543 421390


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