By Gary Hueting, Insurance Operations Director

This week, 18 new colleagues start their Co-op journey on different path than the one they were expecting to follow. The new colleagues had expected to join us in Co-op Insurance, supporting customers and members with their insurance needs. However, as more of our customers stay at home not using their cars or leaving their houses, our claims have reduced significantly, while other parts of the business get busier as we support vulnerable customers in Food and Funeralcare.

So, our new starters will be temporarily seconded to our Co-op Business Services team, starting their training this week.

I’m delighted that we’ve been able to pull together during this time and support each other. We’ve been provided with laptops from other areas of the business to facilitate our Insurance colleagues who are now working from home. Now we’re in a position to re-pay the favour and support other areas of the Co-op and more importantly our customers who really need us.

Initially, these colleagues will be supporting with a new initiative to help vulnerable customers who need food delivering to them during these unprecedented times. This will include liaising between our customers and our stores.

Sam Taylor, Customer Operations Manager told us:

I’m really proud of the work that we’re doing to support our vulnerable members who really need our help at this time. It’s fantastic to have the additional support and we welcome these new members to our team.

Two of our new starters were excited to join the team at such a critical time. Chris Baron said:

This isn’t what I expected to be doing, but I’m delighted to be able to help out the Co-op and our members, making a difference to vulnerable people at this time. I’m really excited to start taking calls.

Pal Haymovits added:

When I heard that our help was needed to support this new national campaign for vulnerable customers, I was really happy to be asked and be able to help.