Yorkshire community champion and inspirational food store manager Tom shortlisted for prestigious retail award

Posted by james brindle | Published: 18/03/2022

A Yorkshire food store manager described as an ‘inspiring leader’ has been recognised with a nomination for the Store Hero award at a prestigious national award ceremony.

Tom Robson is store manager at Central England Co-op, covering two stores at New Mill and Thongsbridge in Holmfirth, and has become a well-known part of village life and is passionate about supporting the local community.

The 30-year-old, from Penistone, is also chair of the retailer’s Yorkshire Membership and Community Council (MCC), which sees him take an active role in supporting work in the community and member activities.

He’s also a hugely inspiring and respected leader who has helped mentor his colleagues to support their development and this has now all been recognised with the nomination for the Store Hero award at the 2022 Retail Week Awards.

Tom will travel to London in May for the awards ceremony, and he said he was ‘proud and excited’ to receive the nomination at one of the industry’s biggest award nights.

He said: “I love my job and the people that I work with, and I do it for those reasons, but it’s nice to be recognised for the work that we put in every day.

“But it’s more rewarding to see the team becoming self-sufficient and succeeding on their own. It’s really good that this has been recognised too.

“I love the area that I live and work in. There are so many brilliant people that just want to help each other, and I am grateful to be a small part of that.

“Supporting colleagues to grow and develop is my favourite part of my job, and in my eyes this is the biggest and most important part of my role so it makes me particularly proud that this is one of the reasons why I have been nominated.

“It’s a given that we can deliver a great store, customer service and financial results. But it’s something else to be able to help people achieve their goals, progress their careers and learn new skills.”

Tom has worked for Central England Co-op for eight years and for much of that time has thrown himself into the community side of the organisation through his work on the MCC.

He said: “It’s something that sets us apart from other businesses. The emphasis and effort we put in to really make a difference in our communities is something that you just don’t see anywhere else and it’s also something that we should be proud of.

“My role allows me to bring together like minded people, support them and ultimately reach out to those in the community that need it. Whether that be a painting group to help tackle loneliness or workshops in schools to educate our members and customers of tomorrow. 

“It’s a really rewarding thing to be involved with and I’m passionate about being part of the great communities around Holmfirth and giving back as much as I can.”

The winners of the 2022 Retail Week Awards will be announced on 26 May at Old Billingsgate in London. To find out more about membership at Central England Co-op visit https://membership.centralengland.coop


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.

Owned by hundreds of thousands of members, its over 8,000 colleagues serve customers across 400 plus trading sites in 20 counties in the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.

Its purpose is to inspire communities to create a sustainable Society for all.

It actively campaigns for the Government to increase sentencing for violent attacks on retail workers and works with FareShare Midlands and hundreds of food banks, generating enough food donations to create over 2.1 million meals for people in need.

The Society embraces inclusivity and equality and is a signed-up member to the Business in the Community (BITC) Race at Work Charter, while it is also fully committed to addressing the impact of climate change and is on track to be Carbon Neutral by 2030. 

It invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities through its Community Dividend Fund scheme which has seen over £175,000 shared out between 116 good causes over the past 12 months.

Central England Co-op was named Leading Co-op of the Year by Co-operatives UK in 2021.

Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle

Contact details: www.centralengland.coop/press-and-media