An Update for Our Members
Published 4 Apr 2020 in Society Announcements
Our CEO, Phil Ponsonby, provides an update to our members on the actions and measures we have been taking in response to the ongoing Coronavirus situation, you can read the update below:
"As we continue through this unprecedented period, I wanted to share with you how we are continuing to provide the best possible support for our colleagues, members, customers and our local communities.
I’m sure you will join me in recognising and thanking our colleagues across the Society for their fantastic commitment at this time. We have implemented a comprehensive range of measures to protect our colleagues and customers in our trading sites including protective equipment for all colleagues, signs and floor stickers to aid social distancing, enhanced cleaning protocols, limiting contact at pay points and the roll-out of protective screens on all counters which will be completed next week.
We have been actively recruiting for additional colleagues to help and I’m delighted that we now have hundreds of new colleagues who have joined us over the last few days. We do recognise the efforts that our colleagues are making, and I’m pleased that the Board have agreed to enhanced discounts for colleagues and increases in rates of pay for those in customer-facing roles at this time.
Supporting local communities and food for all
To support those in our community included within the Government category of vulnerable citizens, we have launched a home delivery service from our Food stores with local community volunteer groups. At the time of writing we have completed 2,000 deliveries.
We have a long track record in working with local food banks, with over 100,000 items donated last year. The need for this service has never been greater and I am grateful to you for continuing to donate using our in-store collection points, but we now need to do more.
I’m pleased to announce that our Board has launched a Food Bank Fund with an initial contribution from the Society of £25,000. This will enable our 40 food bank partners to apply for a grant and ensure that they can continue to serve those in need. Further information can be found here.
You can donate to the fund by making a payment directly using the below details, ensuring that you use the reference code ‘Foodbanks’.
Payee: Midcounties Co-op Limited – Springvale
Sort code: 205363
Account Number: 73076792
Supporting Key Workers and local suppliers
We have always been extremely proud of our Childcare nurseries and have made great effort to keep as many of these operational and open for business as possible in order to support NHS and critical workers requiring childcare. We have launched a new fund this week aimed at assisting our brilliant essential workers whose children continue to attend our nurseries through contributions towards their nursery fees. We have made an initial donation to start this fund of £25,000.
In addition, we have paused fees for all children not currently attending our nurseries as a result of the pandemic, and are asking parents to support this fund instead through making their own contributions where they can. You can find out more about the fund and the nurseries where we have places here.
We have been working with many local food suppliers old and new to help support their businesses and to ensure we fill some of the gaps created by national shortages on some product lines in food.
A great example is where we have entered into a contract with Aldens, a family butcher based in Oxford, to supply fresh meat across all our stores in the Cotswolds. Aldens has been around for over 200 years serving establishments, including the House of Commons, but as a result of the outbreak had lost much of their regular business.
Thank you to our members
Finally, I want to thank you for playing your part by supporting the many increased measures put in place across our continuing operations which have been designed to ensure the safety of our colleagues and customers. Over the last couple of weeks, I have been incredibly moved by the outpouring of praise for so many of our colleagues who continue to make me extremely proud as their CEO.
I hope you will agree that the action we have and will continue to take is very much in keeping with our co-operative values and fully demonstrates our commitment to you, our colleagues and our communities.
I wish you and your loved ones the very best and would like to thank you for your continued support."