Charity of the year and integrated corporate partnerships
More and more companies are seeing the benefits of choosing to work with one charity partner for several years. It gives them the chance to really integrate the partnership within the organisation’s culture and achieve tangible results which leave a lasting legacy.
Central England Co-operative
Our charity partner 2017-2019, Dementia UK, was selected through a staff vote and – as one of the biggest health issues of our time – is a cause that resonates strongly with our colleagues and customers. In fact, this has been our most successful charity partnership to date.
Martyn Cheatle, Chief Executive Officer of Central England Co-operative.
Over the past year stores and colleagues have been raising funds and awareness across the region through a host of fundraising activities including sponsored walks, head shaves and Dementia UK ‘Time for a Cuppa’ bake sales.
Over £1m has been donated to date from money raised by employees and customers and from funds generated through Co-op’s carrier bag levy charge. This has enabled Dementia UK to fund 10 new specialist Admiral Nurse posts, vital training for our Nurses and additional support to help run our Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline. With the generosity and creativity of Central England Co-operative, several short films have been produced where young people share their experiences and insight of having a relative living with dementia. You can watch their stories here.
In turn, our specialist Admiral Nurses have delivered Dementia Awareness sessions to colleagues across the business and our Clinical Services Team has provided guidance for store staff in supporting people with dementia and other vulnerable customers. Central England Co-operative has further demonstrated its commitment to helping those affected by piloting relaxed checkout lanes for customers who need extra time at the till.
Paul Edwards, Director of Clinical Services at Dementia UK, said:
Going through a shop checkout can be a fast, noisy experience, which can be quite unsettling for someone living with dementia. The extra time checkout is an excellent initiative to make people with dementia feel welcome and respected, while helping them to live fulfilling, independent lives.
As one of the largest independent community retailers in the UK, the Central England Co-operative has been able to directly improve the lives of hundreds of people living with dementia within their trading areas and leave a lasting legacy for years to come.