Stafford community hub project comes to an end after helping nearly 700 people
A community hub project launched by Central England Co-op to help deliver vital food to the vulnerable at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic is coming to an end after helping nearly 700 people.
In less than three months, the ground-breaking project has helped hundreds of people after they were identified by partners Stafford Borough Council and then supported by the retailer with the creation and delivery of vital food packages from its store, in Wildwood.
Now, after lockdown measures have been eased, people using the service are now able to visit shops to pick up food and essentials on their own so the community hub is coming to a close.
However, anyone still in need of support can still access it via Central England Co-op’s new call and collect service for its Members.
James Knight, the Member and Community Relations Officer for Central England Co-op managing the project, said: “Everyone has worked tirelessly with Stafford Borough Council to make sure some of the most vulnerable have never gone without food and essentials.
“We have helped 691 people in less than three months, providing vital support to our community during these uncertain times.
“Thank you to everyone involved in this vital community hub project and for the efforts made to make a real difference during these uncertain times.”
The scheme has been such a success that it has been rolled out across four other areas – Lichfield, Derby, Burton and Leicester.
Patrick Farrington, Leader of Stafford Borough Council, said: “At a critical time during this pandemic the partnership between the council and Central England Co-op provided a vital lifeline to some of the most vulnerable and isolated members of our community.
“The amount of calls, emails and other correspondence I have received demonstrates how welcome this service has been, both for the residents we have helped, and the reassurance it has given to families who were unable to support elderly parents or relatives due to the virus.
“This successful operation was put together swiftly and efficiently and I am pleased to hear Central England Co-op will be offering a call and collect service for those who want to continue using it.”
In total, over 1,500 people have been supported across all five projects.
James added: “We do, however, want to stress that if people still do need support we are launching our call and collect service in Stafford to help those who still need help with their shopping.”
The service sees Members call a dedicated number and place their order, their store will then pick and pack the order that day before having it ready to be collected in the afternoon the day after.
The Member or a nominated person will then visit the store and collect the shopping. Payment for the food and essentials will be taken over the phone from the retailer’s head office in Lichfield.
Items available to order include everything from fresh food to cupboard essentials.
The service can be broken down into three easy steps for Members:
1. Call 0800 0501601 and place their order over the phone from a list of items listed on the retailer’s website
2. Central England Co-op will then call the Members back the following day to take payment and give them a collection number
3. Their order will be available to collect in the afternoon, the day after it was placed.
Full details, including the items Members can order, is available online at https://bit.ly/35TZRpz
Notes to editors
Picture caption: The Central England Co-op team working hard on the project at its store in Wildwood, Stafford.
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 www.centralengland.coop for more information or follow us on Facebook or Twitter using @mycoopfood
Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle
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