By The Recognition Team

CEO Winner: Angela Williams – Store Manager, Fir Tree Lane Store

Angela’s given so much of her own time to help others and is constantly thinking of ways to bring happiness. This was evidenced by the four colleague and fourteen member nominations she received. 

She began by setting up a memory tree in store for customers to place photos and remember loved ones lost during the pandemic. 

Making sure that nobody went without, she delivered shopping to those who were self-isolating. This was in addition to working with food share, providing food parcels to people who needed extra support. In the autumn school holiday, she made 100 packed lunches each day, all free for the community and at Christmas she made over 400 Christmas Eve boxes for children who’d taken the time to write a letter to Santa. This really helped to deliver Christmas spirit to families who were struggling with gifts. 

Recognising younger members of the community, Angela worked with suppliers and colleagues to support seven nearby schools with a ‘period positive’ message aimed at teenagers. She arranged for 420 period starter packs to be provided to the girls to make starting their period a positive experience. She also collected old school uniforms, washed and ironed them to look brand new and set up a stall in store to hand out over 300 uniforms to the community free of charge. 

With a light-hearted approach, Angela dressed as the Easter bunny travelling along every street to wave at people. Most recently she supplied sunflower growing kits to help look to a colourful future. 

Angela’s an advocate for fundraising, and thanks to all her activities, she’s successfully raised thousands of pounds for our national charity partner, Mind.

She’s always thinking of the next project to support her community and put smiles on people’s faces. 

Colleague Choice Winner: Sharon Davies, Customer Team Member, Pontesbury Store

By helping so many people in need throughout the pandemic, Sharon’s brought Co-op and the community much closer together. 

She started by collecting prescriptions and doing little bits of shopping for people around the village. As it became apparent there were more and more who needed help, Sharon formed a group of local volunteers. This quickly grew with Sharon responsible for 68 volunteers looking after the village and its surrounding area. 

She decided to set up her own food bank which was registered as a charity, enabling it to be eligible to become the official FoodShare partner. With donation boxes prominent in store, she rallied everyone for help and there was soon hundreds of pounds worth of donations. 

Sharon was able to make weekly food parcels for families who were struggling. She also managed to secure funding which allowed her to arrange fruit and water collections to deliver to the intensive care unit when the hospital staff were at their busiest. 

At Christmas she planned to make 50 food parcels, but the need turned out to be far greater. Thanks again to her can do nature, Sharon rallied the community together and made 250 parcels.

In addition to her day job and her volunteer group work, Sharon’s also managed to squeeze in time to become part of the local St John’s Ambulance team working at vaccine centres in her spare time. 

When she was nominated, this stood out: ‘She really is one of a kind, her store and her village would not have got through the last 12 months without her dedication, caring and commitment.’

(pictured L-R Steve Murrells, Angela Williams, John Prosser-Bell, Helen Webb)