By Ollie Hurved, Resourcing Advisor

In times of crisis it’s easy to just focus on what you’re doing – your own work, your own life, your own situation, but I’m seeing the exact opposite of this at Co-op.

I’m new to Co-op, in fact I only joined on Monday, but I already feel proud to be here. I’m amazed at how committed Co-op are to supporting their communities and colleagues at this difficult time. Our drive to recruit 5,000 new colleagues into our Food stores is just one amazing example of this and it’s something I’m directly supporting.

We’ve simplified our recruitment process and have already recruited over 1,000 new colleagues who are due to start work with us this week and we’re working through many more applications too. If you have friends or family that are currently out of work, they can apply for temporary roles in store and permanent roles online.

Rachel Marriot is one of our new recruits and I wanted to share her experience with you:

“I was studying for my Masters in Social Work and on a placement, but in light of the current situation this changed almost overnight. My placement was cancelled leaving me with no income and I was desperate to find some work. I saw that Co-op was advertising for new roles in their Food stores – I phoned up on Friday, had an interview an hour later and was offered the position! It was all so easy, I couldn’t believe it and I’m so happy. What Co-op is doing is amazing and I’m really looking forward to being part of the Co-op team”

Co-op colleagues are really pulling together at this time. The Co-op Health team have been supporting our colleagues based in the Lea Green pharmacy. The Pharmacy team have had a huge increase in prescription orders over the last week so Tim Davies, Director of Co-op Ventures (and a qualified pharmacist) and his team put on their high-vis vests and joined in with picking and packaging of medicines. This has freed up more time for the pharmacy team to answer the phone to customers who may have been concerned about receiving their important order. A real team effort.

Our store and logistics colleagues are doing an absolutley brilliant job – working flat out to support customers. I think they’re amazing and it’s great that we can support them too by lending a hand.  If you’re fit and healthy, not needing to self-isolate or caring for someone, and have any spare time then why not ‘Lend a hand’ in your local store.

There’s a whole range of store based activity that you can help with so you don’t need to worry about skills and abilities.

If you can support, then contact GDL_TradeandResponse@coop.co.uk – they’ll send you a letter of authority to show you’ve been given permission to lend a hand and a guide on all you need to know about working in one of our shops.

If this is what I’ve seen and learned in just my first week at Co-op I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Stay safe everyone, keep pulling together and we can get through this.