Staff from Crowland, Holbeach, Long Sutton, Surfleet and Swineshead honoured at Co-op awards
Inspiring staff from across Lincolnshire Co-op have been recognised with awards for providing valued services, working in their communities and looking for ways to make a positive difference.
Hundreds of guests were invited to the Celebrating Together ceremony at the Lincolnshire Showground to receive accolades.
Winners included Long Sutton Funeral Home which won Funeral Home of the Year. The team were praised for receiving a 100 per cent score on customer satisfaction surveys and for their work to organise a Christmas memorial service for clients who had lost loved ones.
Branch Manager Debbie Staff said: “We’re over the moon and are thankful to have won. The key to our team is the way we communicate with one another. We’re all on the same page and all know what we’re working towards.
“We undertook a day of volunteering at Long Sutton Primary School. That stands out for us as it was great to get out in the community and help out. It really bonded the team together.”
The Post Office of the Year Award was handed to Holbeach Post Office. The team were singled out for having a ‘super year’ with great performance, high standards in branch and for getting involved with the community through fundraising.
Manager Emma-Louise Kingsley-Poole said: “We’ve really worked hard and to win is a fantastic achievement.
“I think we have a great team. We’re more like family and it never feels like coming into work in the morning. I just want to say a huge thank you to them all.”
Fundraising Branch of the Year was Crowland Food Store. Staff raised more than £2,000 through their own events including a quiz night, which raised more than £700 and had over 100 attendees, plus bake sales, raffles and a ‘name the bear’ competition.
Team leader Ryan Bennett said: “With Crowland being a small town, we feel part of the community. We’re all proud of what we’ve achieved for good causes
“I’d say the secret to a good fundraising event is everybody being positive. Some people like to dress up and some like to do other things. Everyone has their own way of getting involved. If people see you are enjoying yourself and are enthusiastic, they will feel the same way.”
Dee Garrard from Swineshead Pharmacy was named Health Champion of the Year.
Each of Lincolnshire Co-op’s 49 pharmacies has a Health Champion who promotes heath campaigns and is the first point of call for the community.
Dee was praised for getting involved in her local area and attending Community Cuppa social sessions which are designed to tackle loneliness, as well as helping out at Lincolnshire Co-op’s Community Health Pod, a mobile service offering wellbeing checks and services.
She has supported many people to shed the pounds on a free weight management course, including one couple who lost four stone together in 12 weeks. Dee is dedicated to looking after the health and wellbeing of people in her area and regularly promotes awareness campaigns – even fitting in 20 health checks in one day during a Heart Age initiative.
Dee said: “It’s lovely to be appreciated. We all work hard in our pharmacy and it’s nice to know the effort you put in pays off. I’m grateful for the team I have around me and I couldn’t do it without them.
“It’s been great helping so many people. I like that face-to-face interaction with our patients. If someone comes in feeling miserable I do my best to make sure they leave here smiling.”
The Volunteering Team of the Year award was given to Swineshead Food Store and Pharmacy – which opened in summer 2018. They were honoured for their proactive approach to helping the community, taking it on themselves to arrange a large-scale project to revamp the garden area at Swineshead St Mary’s Primary School before the outlet opened.
Manager Emma Relton said: “We didn’t realise how much of a positive impact it would have for the community and school. What we managed to accomplish was unbelievable and they want us to help again - we’re looking at going back in the summer and we can’t wait.
“The volunteering bonded us as a team and helped us to get to know one another.”
Lincolnshire Co-op’s South Lincolnshire Crematorium in Surfleet won a Silver Award in the Funeral Branch of the Year category.
Crematorium manager Simon Grant said: “We see people often when they come to visit and remember their loved ones, and they like to stop and chat.
“We make time for them as we could be the only people they see that day or week, and grief comes in many forms. We talk to them, smile with them and try to do our best for them.
“We’re absolutely over the moon to get this award, and it shows our efforts don’t go unnoticed.”
More by this authorJeremy Ransome