Central England Co-op is rolling out special face visors for all colleagues to help keep them safe and healthy while they ensure communities continue to have access to vital food and essentials.

The retailer, which has over 260 food stores and petrol stations across 16 counties, has issued the pieces of personal protective equipment as part of its ongoing response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The wearing of the visors is not compulsory and the decision is down to individual colleagues who work in food stores and petrol stations. The Society employs over 6,200 colleagues across its food business and recently hired an extra 1,000 to cope with increased demand.

The visors will sit alongside a range of other measures in stores aimed at keeping customers and colleagues safe including social distancing, gloves and hand sanitiser, over 1,000 checkout screens and over 150 security guards to help with queues.

Debbie Robinson, Central England Co-op Chief Executive, said: “Nothing is more important to us all at Central England Co-operative than the safety of our colleagues and customers.

“We’re closely following Government advice in our approach to social distancing and have  rolled out a range of new measures for our stores that now includes face visors for colleagues if they want to wear one.

“We continue to ask all of our customers to co-operate with these measures to keep us all safe and allow us to continue to serve our communities.”

The Society has been leading the way to ensure its colleagues and customers continue to have access to food, essentials and vital services in the local community.

Other measures put in place to support included:

  • Recruiting over 1,000 extra colleagues to help in stores, including support from across its other businesses in travel, floral and head office
  • Implementing the new £45 contactless limit
  • Launching a 10% discount and priority access for NHS staff and rewarding staff for their hard work
  • Working with councils in Lichfield, Stafford, Derby and Burton to launch pioneering schemes aimed at getting food to the most vulnerable
  • Donating over 60,000 items to food bank partners as a result of an ongoing urgent food bank appeal
  • Supporting long-term partners Dementia UK and FareShare Midlands with significant donations to ensure the vital work they do in the community can continue

People can keep up to date with how Central England Co-op is responding to the Coronavirus by visiting www.centralengland.coop/updates

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