Over 8,000 Co-op workers set to have a Big Brew as part of World Mental Health Day

Central England Co-operative is marking World Mental Health Day by urging over 8,000 colleagues to find a find a few minutes to have a brew and lift someone’s spirits.

The Big Brew will take place on Wednesday, 10 October across the Society’s Business Support Centre, Food Stores, Funeral Homes and Travel Shops.

To support the campaign, every colleagues across the Society will receive a tea bag to help them take part, which will be part of a pack offering hints and tips on how to get support if they need it.

This comes as Central England Co-op continues its work to break the silence around mental health and as part of a long-term commitment aimed at raising awareness about mental health problems.

Tracey Orr, Support Services Executive, has spearheaded the Society’s efforts to tackle the issue of mental health as part of a specially formed mental health working party.

She said: “We are proud, once again, to support World Mental Health Day as the health and wellbeing of all of our colleagues is of the utmost importance to us.

“This year we have given all of our colleagues a Fairtrade tea bag as part of our Big Brew and are encouraging them to show their support in the time it takes to boil a kettle.

“The smallest act of kindness, like the offer of a cup of tea and the sparing of a little time, can be all it takes to life someone’s spirits.

“We hope everyone will support our Big Brew and help end the stigma around mental health.”

It is now two years since Central England Co-op marked World Mental Health Day by signing the Time to Change Employer Pledge.

The Society has launched several initiatives offering support to those who are battling mental health issues following the signing of the pledge.

These include:

  • Mental health first aid training courses, dementia friendly awareness sessions and mindfulness workshops – over 30 events that over 400 colleagues have attended
  • Creating 50 mental health and wellbeing champions who offer support by signposting colleagues towards resources and help regarding mental health.
  • Launched a colleague assistance programme, which is a 24-hour, seven day a week, confidential helpline
  • Conference for the 50 mental health and wellbeing champions, in conjunction with Time to Change, for them to find out more about their roles, share best practice and learn about supporting each other
  • Trial Extra Time Checkout project aimed at helping people with their mental health by creating a special aisle at the checkouts where they get more time to do their shopping

Tracy added: “Our Society is now more focused than ever in providing support for those who need it and working hard to end the discrimination and stigma associated with mental health.”


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. 


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 2018.


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 members@centralengland.coop or visiting https://www.members.coop


For more information visit www.centralengland.coop, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, and on Facebook: facebook.com/centralenglandcooperative


Rob Smyth at Central England Co-operative on 01543 414140


Email –publicrelations@centralengland.coop