The judges have sifted through 1,859 incredible nominations, whittled them down to 100 finalists, and now we can reveal the 12 inspirational colleagues who’ve been awarded the first ever Thank you for Being Co-op awards.

The nominations were of such a high standard it’s been so tough for our judges but they’ve decided on the 12 colleagues who bring Being Co-op to life and spread a little Co-op magic wherever they go.

We’ll be telling each of the winners’ stories over the next couple of months, but here’s a brief look at who they are and what people said about them:

Community star award: Joanne Bale – Store manager, Petrol Thorne, Doncaster

“This colleague is one in a million. Without her young Cole would not be able to play football with his specially adapted wheelchair, Ebony would not have had her wish day to be Princess Ebony with her very own ride in a horse and carriage. She goes above and beyond in every way she can whether it be fundraising or just generally helping people less fortunate than herself.”

Co-op magic award (chosen by Co-op members): Michelle Benton – Store manager, Priorswood Place, Taunton

“This colleague does a lot of fundraising to help the local community. She recently helped an elderly gentleman called Ivor who fell off his bicycle outside the shop. She raised money to get him a mobility scooter. This enabled him to not only stay independent but also stay safe while out by himself.”

Store colleague of the year award: Samantha Peake – Customer team member, Cosby Main Street, Leicester

“This colleague is an outstanding candidate for this category. Her work of engaging our community with the Co-op brand has been amazing. She works tirelessly in her own time building up great relations between our store and our customers. She really is an inspiration. Not only does she arrange, advertise and man all of her fundraising events, she involves all local business to join in too.”

Legal Services colleague of the year award: Anezka Piska – Regional probate consultant, Bristol

“This colleague is a true ambassador of Co-op values. She embodies working without walls, involving herself across the business, looking for ways for us to improve how we work and succeed together to enhance the customer experience. She has been hugely active in going into Funeralcare branches to support their knowledge, explaining and highlighting the service we can offer to their clients and the value this adds.”

Insurance colleague of the year award: Dee Germaine-Dibley – Supply chain manager, Miller St, Manchester

“This colleague has worked for the Co-op for over 30 years and I feel deserves to be recognised for all the work she does to support and make Co-op Insurance and the wider Co-op a better place to work for all her colleagues.”

Logistics colleague of the year award: Barbara French – Warehouse operative, Plymouth depot

“This colleague has worked in our Plymouth depot for 38 and a half years, and joined not long after the depot opened. I’m sure she won’t mind me saying, but she is 75 years old and works as hard today as she did when she started here. She lives and breathes Co-op every single day, and is truly missed when she is on holiday or has a day off.”

Support centre colleague of the year award: Ian Rogerson – Technical manager, One Angel Square, Manchester

“This colleague really does epitomise all of the Co-op Ways of Being. Part of his role involves visiting our global supply base for Fairtrade wines. He is very passionate about all things Co-op and is an ambassador for the business while on his visits. Closer to home he does some amazing things in his local community.”

Funeralcare colleague of the year award: Vicky Walmsley – Funeral arranger, Pearson Collinson, Liverpool

“This colleague is amazing. To her clients she’s not only extremely knowledgeable about every aspect of arranging a funeral, but she’s also fantastic at guiding her clients through what is always a turbulent time for them, and getting them through the funeral and the days leading up to it with great care and passion for what she does.”

Do what matters most award: Laura Tilbury – Funeral arranger, Windsor

“This colleague has helped to open this funeral home following a refit and many months of closure. She is working extra hours and putting in many more voluntarily to make sure that we do this correctly. We’ve had great feedback from local people, both families and clergy, and within a couple of weeks this funeral home is busier than many in the network.”

Show you care award: Will Hall – Team manager, Birtley depot

“We took a call at work from the wife of one of our drivers to say that he would not be in to work due to suffering a stroke. She was clearly upset by everything. Will has throughout this matter gone above and beyond what I would expect from a team manager. He truly gets the impact this has had on the family and has gone out of his way to show that he and the business care about our people.”

Be yourself always award: Michael Pengelly – Regional manager, Central region

“This colleague is an inspiration to our Wales region. When he took the reins he took everyone on an awesome journey – a complete cultural shift across a whole country. He did this through being himself! A genuine, hardworking, passionate, supportive amazing leader, who challenges us in the most positive way to get things done/changed. I can’t explain how amazing he is.”

Succeed together (team award): Team Adel – Leeds store

“The team were devastated by the news of their colleague who was impacted so heavily by the Manchester bombing. In times of need communities often pull together and the team in Adel wanted to play their part to support the family and set about raising money so they could remember their colleague’s loss. If there was ever an example of Being Co-op this is it – there for each other and our community during the darkest times.”

A reminder of what the winners get

  • A unique Co-op experience – each winner will have the opportunity to work with us to create a special experience that only our Co-op can offer. This could be anything from a five star chef cooking a meal in the family home to visiting one of our suppliers abroad. Whatever floats your boat! These experiences will take place between May and September 2018.
  • Special AGM invite – you’ll be invited as a special guest to our AGM on Saturday 19 May 2018 where we’ll be celebrating our award winners.
  • Afternoon tea – a celebratory afternoon tea will be held on the day of the AGM for those award winners who’d like to attend.

Massive congratulations to all the award winners, finalists and nominees!

Look out for the winners’ full stories over the coming months.

Join the conversation! 16 Comments

  1. I always feel humbled by our amazing colleagues

  2. A huge well done to each and every winner and to everyone that was nominated!

  3. Truly inspirational – well deserved and well done to all.

  4. Congrats to some incredible people ⭐️

  5. The Co-op is truly blessed to have so many extraordinary people working for it.

    The standards of behaviour shown in the nominations is so high and it’s almost unfair to pick a single winner.

    We owe a debt of gratitude to all of them…

  6. Massive well done to everyone 👍

  7. Congratulations to all the winners and Nominees

  8. Well done everyone.

  9. Well done guys. And well done to Dee for securing the Insurance award!

  10. Well Done to all the winners and to everyone who was nominated. Awesome work. 💪

  11. Fantastic achievement all!!! Proud to be Coop 😊

  12. Congratulations everyone!

  13. Well done to the winners and everyone nominated

  14. Well done all !!

  15. What an amazing job these colleagues have done, truly inspiring.
    Thank you for sharing some of their stories, hope we get to meet them at the AGM?

  16. Well done all, well deserved 🙂

Comments are closed.


Be yourself always, Being Co-op, Do what matters most, Great place to work, Show you care, Succeed together