Inspiring colleagues from across Lincolnshire Co-op have been recognised with awards for providing valued services, working in their communities and looking for ways to make a positive difference.
Hundreds of guests were invited to the glittering Celebrating Together ceremony at the Lincolnshire Showground to receive accolades.
Honours including the sought-after Colleague of the Year and Branch of the Year awards were given to dedicated staff. Employees were also recognised for undertaking volunteering projects and for developing their skills by completing training.
Winners included Kelly Slow from Lincolnshire Co-op’s food store in Bracebridge Heath. She triumphed in the Colleague of the Year category, winning the overall Gold award.
Kelly was described as ‘a shining beacon of positivity’ who brings people together. She won the award following nominations from colleagues working in the Bracebridge Heath outlet’s pharmacy and post office.
One nomination described how Kelly works with her colleagues and the community, whether it’s raising funds for good causes, getting involved in events or promoting health and wellbeing campaigns, such as the pharmacy’s flu jab service.
Another nomination told of her outstanding attitude to customer service. An elderly customer living with dementia was unable to remember their pin number so couldn’t withdraw cash. Kelly spent time with the customer, calming them down. She then helped them with their shopping, suggesting they could use their dividend card to pay for it. Kelly then made sure the customer got home safely.
Kelly said: “I don’t feel like I’ve done anything extra special, which is why this feels quite surreal. I love our rapport with customers and the fact they trust us enough to say, ‘I am getting a bit forgetful’. The dementia friendly training provided by the Society has also helped me greatly.
“When ladies and gents living with dementia come in, we know what their needs and wants are. Because we’re familiar with their families we’ve got contact numbers for them if they’re struggling.
“Seeing someone leave the store happy is amazing. It’s worth all the money in the world to have that feeling and that’s from the heart, because that’s how I feel about my job.”
From left: Lincolnshire Co-op President Steve Hughes, Colleague of the Year silver award winner Aly Gratrick and Chief Executive Ursula Lidbetter.
The Silver Colleague of the Year award was handed to Aly Gratrick from Proctors Road Funeral Home in Lincoln, who received multiple nominations describing her as ‘going above and beyond.'
One example was when she accompanied a young child to the venue where her parent’s funeral was due to take place to ensure the youngster was familiar with the surroundings and could ask any questions. Part of the nomination read: ‘I have never known anyone to be as sympathetic and empathetic as Aly.’
Aly said: “I’m grateful for the position I’m in, being able to make a difference in people’s lives.
When you find the job you love, you never have to work another day in your life again.
“People come to us in the most difficult time in their lives. Providing them with excellent service can make a huge difference and just knowing I can help in some way is enough of an award. I’m also thankful for the support I receive from all my colleagues, without them I wouldn’t be able to do my job.”
From left: Lincolnshire Co-op President Steve Hughes, Dispensing Assistant Carloyn Kildea, Pharmacist and Manager Chandan Vadlamudi, Dispensing Assistant Cheryl Donnor, Accuracy Checking Technician Kate Davids, University of Lincoln pharmacy student Emma Wride, Medicines Counter Assistant Linda Wright, Dispensing Assistant Sue Farnsworth, University of Lincoln pharmacy student Claire Hodge, Dispensing Assistant Rebekah Green and Chief Executive Ursula Lidbetter.
The team at Winning Post Pharmacy on Carholme Road, in Lincoln, were awarded the Bronze Colleague of the Year Award.
As well as the work of a community pharmacy, the team also supplies multiple complex prescriptions and advice to patients using the services of the. They were praised for being ‘a formidable team whose teamwork and support never wavers.’
Pharmacist Chandan Vadlamudi said: “We’re all very happy to have been recognised. As a team we pull together to make sure everything runs smoothly, and we can provide the best service for our community.
“We work together and share all the jobs and responsibilities, so this award has given us all a real boost.”
Lincolnshire Co-op’s Chief Executive Ursula Lidbetter said: “Time and again, my colleagues prove themselves to be helpful, inspiring and trustworthy – they put everything into making life better in our communities.
“It’s wonderful to be able to honour these hard-working teams and individuals who ensure Lincolnshire Co-op is the best it can be.”
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