Welcome to the Young Co-operators Network (YCN), giving you the opportunity to have a say about the things that matter to you. We recognise how important you are to our Society so we would like you to voice your opinions to influence the future of Midcounties whether that’s through events, activities and competitions.
Be inspired. Get Involved. Make a Difference.
Coronavirus Top Tips & Mental Health Support
We've put together a couple of guides to help you get through the lockdown, click on the links below to find out more:
Meet our Young Co operators that have been supporting our Food Stores during the Covid 19 Pandemic…
My name is Charlie Turner and I am currently studying Business Management at Walsall College. I have been employed at Cheslyn Hay Food as a Customer Service Advisor for around two months now. I applied for the position as I wanted to do something positive during this tough time. I currently work delivery days and I enjoy helping customers and being able to support my fellow key workers within Food. During my time here it has helped me to keep busy and my mind active as well as interacting with the team.
My name is Romi Turton and I have recently completed a Beauty Therapy Course at Dudley College. I wanted to keep myself occupied during lock down and help out in the community so I applied for a role at my local Co op in Wombourne. I am really enjoying working here, I work deliveries and serve customers at the till. I have been able to learn new things and develop my skill set and it is great to part of a team on the frontline.
Our YCN on Helping to Tackle the Coronavirus Issues
Here at Co-op Midcounties our colleagues are doing an amazing job going above and beyond to help our members, customers and colleagues whilst adapting to this whilst we are in an ever-changing challenging time.
Our efforts to support our most vulnerable customers who are self-isolating to getting basic, essential food delivered to their doors is working well. This partnership between our food stores and local community volunteers who are making deliveries has meant we have made over 10,000 deliveries, with the amount being actioned by volunteers continuing to rise, which is great.
Name: Dal Aujla
Branch: Pelsall Village Centre Pharmacy
Position: Pharmacist Manager
During the Covid Pandemic I have dual managed both my own store and Pendeford Health Centre both managing and assisting staff. In my six years as a pharmacist and manager I have never experienced such a rapid increase in volume of prescriptions that we had at the start of the pandemic, usually we are prepared for busy periods such as Christmas, but this was unprecedented. As a manager it was my responsibility to deal with the colossal workload (both operational and clinical) whilst having staff self-isolating and keeping staff that were at work well motivated and safe. As a team, my branch has managed very well even with having different members of staff self-isolating for a duration of 4 weeks- everyone came together giving up annual leave and weekends when we aren’t usually open. Keeping customers satisfied and safe was a challenge but was an easier challenge then keeping a team of over-worked dispensers happy! But it is imperative we continue.
It is my job to be on the frontline, my job role hasn’t got an option to work from home or behind closed doors. It is daunting coming to work not knowing what challenges you will face with staffing levels or work demand, but it was vital to stay positive for my own well-being and for the staff. I feel proud to have been on the frontline during this time as it has kept the nation and the economy going as well as trying to keep day to day life as normal as possible for customers.
Just a thank you to anyone on the front line that doesn’t get a mention as there are lots of people. Keep up the good work.
Name: Abbie Goodall
Branch: Charlbury, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire
It has been very challenging time in pharmacy since COVID-19. My normal day to day working has changed in so many ways. Now having to wear PPE, to not only protect myself but also customers, delivering prescriptions to patient’s homes and working bank holidays to support the NHS. Having a small team of 5 people, whereby 4 colleagues are self-isolating, has meant that I have been supported by agency staff, Locum Pharmacists and the Head Office team. Some days this has been stressful trying to support all our patients, but with the support of our Head Office team we have braved through the rollercoaster ride that the pandemic has caused. It was crucial to make sure the branch stayed open during the coronavirus pandemic for patients to obtain their medications and protect sick and vulnerable people coming in for advice. It has been a worrying and frustrating time for all involved, but I am very proud to be a part of this pandemic and I will continue to support everyone including staff and customers in this difficult situation.
Name: James Eales
Branch: Warwick Head Office
Position: Apprentice Member Benefits Administrator
My day to day job role is working in the membership team, helping answer any queries that our members may have. When the Covid 19 crisis hit, there were many different parts of the Midcounties which needed help. I volunteered to work in a food retail store to help keep up with demand and to help shelves being stocked.
I was there for one week before I went to work in membership helping vulnerable and self-isolating people with home delivery services. I helped them by explaining how the home delivery service works and providing their local food stores phone number. During this time, we have helped more than 7,000 people with home deliveries. It shows what great work we’re doing as a co-operative as the compliments received during this challenging time were inspiring. It’s great to see how the Midcounties are making such a positive impact and I loved being part of it.
So what is the YCN?
The Young Co-operators Network is here to provide a platform for young people aged between 16 and 30 to share opinions, take part in discussions and have your say in how the society is run!
What benefits do I get when I join the YCN?
As a Young Co-operator, there are a variety of benefits that you can take advantage of:
Student Discounts if you hold a valid NUS card
Monthly Prize Draws
Social Media Competitions
In addition, we can offer a range of career development opportunities:
Work Experience - click here to find out more & apply
Internship and Graduate Programme
Opportunities to enhance your CV
Access to online resources
Check out some of our helpful employability top tips below:
Introducing our Young Midcounties Colleague Ambassadors...
Our Young Midcounties Colleague Ambassadors have helped us shape the Young Co-operators Network by sharing their thoughts and ideas on the future of the Society
Did you know...
One of our Young Midcounties Colleague Ambassadors has a place in our Member Engagement Committee (MEC), which means we have a voice for our young members and can influence decisions at the top level of our Society!
James Eales: "It’s great to be on the MEC because I can provide insight into what our young members want"
Young Member Forum 2019
At the 2019 AGM we held our Young Members Forum, the day consisted of a number of presentations that included:
- TV’s Dr Hilary Jones talking to the young people about healthcare
- Cal Major, the Midcounties environmental ambassador who talked about travelling abroad for a gap year and how we can play our part in reducing plastics
- Joe Doherty, adventure Manager from the Outward Bound trust who spoke about his amazing expedition across Antarctica to reach the South Pole
We also consulted with the young people on how we can further engage with them in the future - a great morning was had by all that attended!
Quotes from our young attendees:
‘The talks were great!’
‘I really enjoyed the Gap year talk’
‘The conversations and learning about the expeditions people have been on were really interesting’
‘The day was really interesting and informative’
In the Afternoon 3 schools (Cannock Chase High, Walsall Academy and Myton school) took part in ‘Our solution to beat plastic pollution’ competition. Each school delivered a presentation and created their own video on how they were going to reduce single-use plastics in their schools, and showcased sculptures they had made out of single-use plastics.
All 3 schools delivered a fantastic presentation, with the judges deciding the overall winner was Myton School in Warwick. Throughout the day there were also various prize draws for the young people to enter.