Co-op team leader’s community work during Covid-19 lockdown draws praise from company's CEO and community

A Congleton Co-op team leader’s community work during the Covid-19 lockdown has been singled out for praise by the company’s Chief Executive and the residents he has helped.

The impact of Coronavirus has been huge, but across the UK, residents and businesses have risen to meet those unprecedented challenges with commitment and innovation.

That has been illustrated in the Congleton store, where values of ‘supporting communities’ and ensuring well-being in the most difficult of times, have been exemplified by Josh Goodwin.

Josh began his Co-op career at the Bromley Road store as a part-time team member while studying at Congleton Sixth Form College.

Eight years on and he has undertaken the management challenge as an acting team manager and his work in reflecting the community-driven ethos of the Co-op operation shows he has made a real difference.

Not only has he accepted additional responsibility when his senior colleague was forced to go into self-isolation, he has taken his role outside the doors of the store and offered support to a family in need.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have been supporting the Congleton Food Hub with food and essential item donations to ensure that Shaun Radcliffe (Organiser of Congleton Food Hub) and the team of local volunteers who wanted to support in the Coronavirus response, could continue to deliver to the elderly, key workers and residents shielding or self-isolating,” said Josh.

“The thing I am most proud of is that I received a call from a lady in Congleton, who was struggling to find help, stressed, upset and in need of assistance.

“So it was only natural that we stepped up to help, identified her needs and arranged for her to be able to collect items for her family, which we were happy to donate at such a difficult time.

“After all, that’s why the Co-op is different. For our members, colleagues and customers to respond to community need.”

The lady was so impressed with the customer services received; she e-mailed the Co-op’s CEO, Steve Murrells, asking for Josh’s kind actions to be recognised.

“I received a thank-you from Mr Murrells which was really appreciated. Being acknowledged by the top colleague in such a large organisation was a great thing to receive,” said Josh.

Like everywhere, life at Bromley Road is still far from back to normal. Social distancing guidance and some restrictions remain in place, but with team manager Kath Wilson now back after completing her period of isolation, the work of supporting the community goes on.

And for Josh, he has the satisfaction of a job not just well done – but with the thanks of the grateful community to add to his growing CV.