Hilda Hayo, CEO of Dementia UK, and Martyn Cheatle, CEO of Central England Co-operative

Charity of the year and strategic corporate partnerships

More and more companies are seeing the benefits of choosing to work with one charity partner for a number of years. This gives them the chance to really integrate the partnership within the organisation’s culture, boost staff engagement and achieve tangible results which leave a lasting legacy.

Martyn Cheatle, Central England Co-operative’s former Chief Executive

Central England Co-operative

Over the past three years Central England Co-operative 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.

£1.4 million 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 us to support and develop new dementia specialist Admiral Nurses so they can provide life-changing care to more families facing dementia – in the community, on our Helpline, in GP practices and hospitals, and in Admiral Nurse clinics. 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 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.

Please consider nominating or voting for Dementia UK as the charity of the year in your workplace. For more information about working in partnership please call us on 020 8036 5407, or email us at corporate.partnerships@dementiauk.org