Co-op colleagues handed free holiday for their efforts supporting local community during lockdown

Colleagues at a Central England Co-op food store in Derby have been offered a free holiday by kind-hearted customers in way of thanks for their hard work during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The team at Smalley Drive Food Store, in Oakwood, could not believe it when two regular customers dropped a letter off at the shop thanking them for their efforts and offering the use of their caravan in Skegness as a token of appreciation.

This comes just a few days after colleagues received a special package of goodies, treats and gifts via an Amazon Wish List as way of thanking them for their tireless work through the pandemic to support residents to get vital food and essentials.

Anouska Peach, from the store, said: “The couple have recently moved close to the store and have been using us during lockdown to ensure they have everything they need.

“They had previously said that without us staying open they don’t know what they would have done.

“We take real pride here in being part of the community and, especially during these uncertain times, acting as a lifeline to those who need it.

“We do not do it for reward, we do it because this is what we are about at Central England Co-op. “This is why it was such a surprise when a letter was dropped off thanking us for our efforts and making this amazing gesture for our team.

“The staff couldn't believe it and were so overwhelmed with their kindness.”

The letter stated: “Thank you so much for everything you have done for the community and for all your hard work and sacrifice it took to keep the shop open and running while we were all safe at home

“We have a caravan in Skegness and would like to offer you two weekends away next year as a token of our appreciation. Thank you again.”

People can keep up to date with what is happening in their local community by visiting a dedicated online hub at



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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 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 for more information or follow us on Facebook or Twitter using @mycoopfood



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