By Claire Saunders, Funeral Service Manager

I had a wonderful surprise when I opened an email and found I’d been nominated for a #BeingCoop award in 2021. It came out of the blue and wasn’t something I was expecting to receive.

Each time you’re nominated, you receive an email to let you know. I’m proud that during the nomination window, I received a couple more of these notification messages. I didn’t know who they were from, but it was a lovely feeling to know my colleagues had recognised my work. It let me know I was doing something right.

At the time, I was a Food store manager. My nominations were all in the category of Show You Care, recognising everything I’d been doing to support our Safer Colleagues Safer Communities campaign.

This was during the pandemic when everyone was incredibly busy. It was humbling to think people had taken time out to nominate me. I felt appreciated and very happy. I didn’t expect it to go any further, so to then find out I’d been shortlisted as a finalist was another delightful surprise.

The winners were all revealed in a special event held in 1 Angel Square. It was my first time visiting the building and I was able to take my friend, another store manager, with me to experience it together.

The whole event was amazing. It didn’t feel formal, it was just filled with a celebratory atmosphere. Everyone was relaxed and chatting with others. It was a great opportunity to meet people who I’d seen online or only ever chatted with on email before – I could finally put faces to names.

I was announced as the Colleague Choice winner in my category. It was the first-time colleagues had been able to vote for winners alongside the CEO and Exec. Personally, I found it more special to be acknowledged by my colleagues. Knowing that day in, day out I could have influenced them was a wonderful feeling.

Since winning my award, I’ve received a mention in the New Year’s honours list and have embraced my new role within Funeralcare.

You can get involved

We have recognition tools available to us all year round, including digital thankyou cards. I often use these to make sure hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. But when the nomination window opens, I make sure to discuss the #BeingCoop awards with my teams, I‘m a huge advocate for them.

The #BeingCoop Awards are designed to recognise and celebrate colleagues across the whole business who make a difference to our members, our communities and our planet.

There are eight categories including a brand-new Climate Star Award that celebrates colleagues who’ve gone out of their way to make a positive contribution to our vision of co-operating for a fairer planet by minimizing the impact we have on the environment. 

You can nominate colleagues in the following awards:

  • Inclusion Award
  • Community Star Award
  • Do What Matters Most Award
  • Be Yourself Always Award
  • Show You Care Award
  • Succeed Together Award (team award)
  • Co-op Apprentice of the Year
  • Climate Star Award

This year, the nomination window is open until 6 June. The process is straightforward and you can find all the information you need here.

I’ve already made my nominations and would encourage you to have a think about what your colleagues around you have achieved and make nominations of your own. I’m looking forward to this year’s nominees and winners having the same positive experience that I did.