By James Allen, Store Manager, Herne Bay Reculver Road

Finding out that I’d been nominated for a #BeingCoop award in 2019 was amazing, it just wasn’t something I’d expected to happen and it made me feel really proud. I wasn’t expecting anything to come of it, the nomination and recognition it brought was more than enough, but when I won the Apprentice of the Year award it was undoubtedly the best day and proudest moment of my life.

The #BeingCoop Awards celebrate colleagues across the business who completely live Our Ways of Being Co-op and bring our purpose of championing a better way of doing business to life.

I joined the Food business in 2016 on the Level 2 apprenticeship scheme and from day one set my sights on proving myself and becoming a Store Manager. Over the last three years I’ve progressed with the business, moved stores, and completed my Level 2 and 3 apprenticeships and been named Apprentice of the Year.

Being on the apprenticeship scheme and winning the #BeingCoop award has been life changing for me, I’m now a Store Manager and completing my Level 6 business management degree apprenticeship. My goal now is to be an advocate for apprenticeships for our Co-op and become an Area Manager.

If you haven’t already, please make sure you nominate colleagues you believe deserve recognition for their hard work and who truly make a co-op difference for a #BeingCoop award.

The difference a nomination can make to someone’s life is huge, I’m proof of that, and a nomination is a great way to make sure that a colleague’s hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. The winner’s event is always something to look forward to as well!

Nominations need to be completed by 16 April and you can read more about the #BeingCoop Awards here.

This year there are eight categories to nominate colleagues in including a brand new Inclusion Award that celebrates colleagues who make a real impact as a role model for inclusion and completely ties into our commitments to diversity and inclusion.

You can nominate colleagues in the following awards:

  • Inclusion Award
  • Community Star Award
  • Co-op Member Choice Award (Co-op member nominations only)
  • Do What Matters Most Award
  • Be Yourself Always Award
  • Show You Care Award
  • Succeed Together Award
  • Co-op Apprentice of the Year