This year’s #BeingCoop awards showcased some truly wonderful colleagues. We’re proud to share the stories of our winners.
Community Star winner: Carl Williams
By Katherine Hendrick, Engagement Support Assistant
Carl’s drive to make a difference in the community truly sets him apart.
He’s been instrumental in working with the local police, discussing ways to help prevent teenagers being led down the wrong path at a vulnerable age. This is a long term project which will hopefully result in a place where teenagers can feel a sense of belonging, develop values, respect and skills to aid their journey into adulthood – ultimately keeping them safe and out of trouble.
He’s also actively involved in creating a new Community Wellbeing Hub, where he’s been working alongside health professionals, the local council and community groups planning how to make this much needed facility happen. Due to his level of involvement, Carl’s been asked to be a governor when it’s completed.
Carl arranged for our stores to be collection points for the Homeless Shoe Box appeal, using his own transport, time and money to get the boxes to the right people making sure those less fortunate could have a little extra during the festive season. Additionally, Carl visits the local hospital every Christmas morning with goodies for the staff who are working, and this year delivered a hamper to the local ambulance station.
He’s passionate about showing the difference Co-op makes in local communities, often sacrificing his personal time to promote what’s available including the Endangered Spaces initiative, and the Local Community Fund.
Carl has a naturally friendly, open and honest nature. People come to him with their ideas, as he’s trusted and known as a man to get things done thanks to his positive can-do attitude.
I’m proud to know Carl and think he’s the ideal winner.
Be Yourself Always winner: Aggie Walker
By Stephen Scannell, Store Manager
Aggie Walker is a Customer Team Member in our Beverley Road store. I nominated her for the Be Yourself Always award as she cares about everyone. Thanks to her usual warmth and loving nature, Aggie does all she can for others and is a rock for customers, colleagues and the community.
She organised a very successful clothes dropping service instore, where anyone can drop off unwanted items, along with collecting donations of money which she used to buy extra items. She parcelled things up together and then handed them out to homeless people in Belfast city centre.
Aggie’s care for our elderly customers is particularly inspiring, whether it’s aiding them in the store or carrying their bags, she even made time to deliver shopping for one customer who lives alone and had broken their shoulder. When she visited our local nursing home at Christmas to give out donations from our store, a lot of the residents remembered her from when they used to shop with us. She made sure to spend time with everyone, even having photos together.
Everyone who meets Aggie loves her. We’ve lots of customers who come in specifically to see and chat to her and she regularly receives positive feedback on our your store your say. The same can be said about colleagues who look to Aggie as a motherly figure as she’s always available as a shoulder to lean on often with advice and a hug!
I’m delighted to see Aggie’s dedication and devotion recognised. She brings her best self to work every single day, always with a smile on her face. Her colleagues adore her, and she brightens the day up for customers – congratulations on your win!
You can find the full list of all our winners and highly commended colleagues here.