This year’s #BeingCoop awards showcased some truly wonderful colleagues. We’re proud to share the stories of our winners.

Funeralcare Colleague of the Year: Rachel Carline

By Jane Walapu, Colleague Recognition Lead

In my role, I’m lucky enough to see and hear about lots of stories where colleagues have gone above and beyond to do the right thing, but Rachel’s dedication to a family she was supporting was invaluable.

Rachel’s an exceptional Embalmer, notably undertaking an 18 hour embalming reconstruction to support a family and provide a positive lasting image of their loved one. It’s hard to put into words the effort and dedication that Rachel conducted that evening. Working into the early hours, she doubted herself several times to be able to complete the works, but her commitment to support the family was her main driver.

She spent time with the family talking them through everything and at their request, stayed with them during their visit. She also helped make it possible to provide two hand castings , locating a suitable presentation box for the family. Rachel achieved all of this whilst she was scheduled to be on annual leave.

In addition, Rachel continually supports colleagues and often completes activities over and above her role including; visiting funeral homes to educate on benefits of embalming and how to discuss it with families, delivering training sessions for multiple care centre colleagues along with training and mentoring a trainee embalmer. She also hosts a podcast, The Eternal Debate, linked to her excellent embalming knowledge.

Rachel really is a fantastic advocate. She’s a highly respected colleague and deserves this recognition.

Rachel Carline CS image

Succeed Together winners: Team Brodick

By Liz McLean, Store Manager, Brodick

Team Brodick are a friendly, hard-working bunch who live and breathe our Co-op ways of working.

Located on the Isle of Arran off the South West coast of Scotland, we’re an island store and often the first place locals look to for help. This ranges from bringing goods from the mainland for customers if it’s not in stock, carrying shopping to their cars and reducing queue times by simply opening more tills. The team stepped in to help take supplies to 169 stranded cars round the other side of the island when the passengers were left without food and water – even the dogs were catered for! Nothing is too much trouble.

As an island store, we rely heavily on boats from the mainland, and due to a lot of disruptions (one occasion lasted for days without a boat), colleagues have been incredibly flexible to last minute shift changes, with the mainland workers sometimes arriving already prepared for overnight stays, just to make sure they’re there for customers and to keep the store going.

During a period of illness for the store manager, the rest of the team pulled together to deliver over and above. This included a stock take and a record-breaking Easter sales period.

Brodick store is a central point in the community. From making charity donations to the mountain rescue and attending local choir events to thoughtfully sending flowers and sweet treats to residents in the local nursing home, store colleagues are all actively involved in community activities.

The team takes everything that’s thrown at them in their stride, consistently doing what’s best for customers. Teamwork at its finest is always displayed by Team Brodick!

Team Brodick CS image

You can find the full list of all our winners and highly commended colleagues here.