19 September 2013

Gearing up for Lincolnshire Day

Colleagues at Lincolnshire Co-op will be celebrating Lincolnshire Day on October 1st by wearing yellow, putting up bunting and giving shoppers the chance to sample a variety of local food from cheese to sausages.

Commemorative pens which display the date will also be given away in foodstores to remind people when Lincolnshire Day is.

To help with their festivities, members will receive 10x dividend, from 27th September to 1st October, on all products in the Love Local range including Lincolnshire Quality meat and Gadsby’s.

Supply Chain Manager Nicola Berry said: "Lincolnshire Day is the perfect time for customers to try out some of our county’s fantastic local food. From delicious cheeses to homemade jams, there is something for everyone to enjoy, made on our very own doorstep."

Yellowbellies can spice up their celebrations with new local mango chutney now on the shelves in all 77 Lincolnshire Co-op Foodstores.

The chutney made by Mr Huda’s, based in Scunthorpe, has a delicate taste infused with the flavours of cinnamon and cardamom. It joins several Mr Huda’s curry pastes already in the Love Local range. 

Maf Huda said: "We’ve tried to match the standard of chutney that customers would expect in a good quality restaurant. Our blend is sweet and mild with a hint of spice and a smooth texture.

"We’re proud to have another product in Lincolnshire Co-op’s Love Local range and mango chutney is a great accompaniment to any Indian meal."
16 September 2013

New Travel Agent Opens in Boston

Holidaymakers in Boston will have more choice when booking the perfect break now a new travel branch has opened in the town.

Lincolnshire Co-op's Boston Travel outlet is inside Oldrids Department Store, in Wide Bargate. The Society has invested £40,000 in the new branch, which features three booking desks and a bureau de change.

A team of four highly-experienced travel advisors are on hand to help customers book holidays – Manager Zane Ground, Assistant Manager Jodie Limb and Sales Consultants Ashley Cilek and Lizzie Brackenbury have a combined total of almost 60 years in the industry.

Members of Lincolnshire Co-op are able to use their dividend card to pay for services and collect dividend points on their bookings.

Travel Group Manager Wayne Dennett said: "We're delighted to have opened our first Lincolnshire Co-op travel branch in Boston and we know that holidaymakers in the area will appreciate our experienced team's knowledge and benefit from their independent advice."

Lincolnshire Co-op also runs a travel agent inside the Downtown complex in Grantham, which is part of the Oldrids and Downtown group.
16 September 2013

Travel Team Call for Votes After National Nomination

Colleagues from Lincolnshire Co-op's 13 travel branches are celebrating after being nominated for an honour in the prestigious British Travel Awards.

Lincolnshire Co-operative Travel has been shortlisted in the Best Small High Street Travel Agency category.

Now, holidaymakers from across the country are being asked to vote for the winners and Lincolnshire Co-op’s Travel Group Manager Wayne Dennett hopes many of the team's loyal customers will have their say.

"We're delighted to have been nominated for such a key award. It's testament to the hard work our team puts in to make sure our clients have their perfect break," he said.

"We hope that lots of our customers will vote for us as scooping that national award would be an unbelievable honour."

To take part, go onto the British Travel Awards website's voting form. Everyone who casts a vote for any organisation is in with a chance of winning a fantastic selection of prizes including holidays, vouchers, hotel stays, city breaks and much more. 

Voting closes on September 30th.
11 September 2013

Community Champions Share in £63,797

From Scout troops to lunch clubs and day centres to wildlife groups, members of Lincolnshire Co-op have raised an enormous £63,797.72 for more than 80 local good causes in the past three months.

The Community Champions scheme sees every one of the Society’s 219,000 members linked to a good cause close to where they live.

Between June and September, every time they’ve used their dividend card in any Lincolnshire Co-op outlets where points are issued – a donation from the Community Champions pot has gone towards their local good cause.

The Community Champions will now be awarded a cheque or some vouchers for the total amount raised by shoppers in their area, which they can put towards their projects. See how much groups in your area raised here.

Lincolnshire Co-op is encouraging members of local groups and organisations who need money to put towards a project to apply to become a Community Champion. An application form is available to pick up in store or access here.

Membership and Community Manager Sam Turner said: "We’re thrilled that our members have managed to raise such an impressive total for so many good causes in their local areas.

"We’ve also been delighted to see banners going up and our Community Champions really rallying their supporters to help raise funds just by doing their shopping.

"Our champions change every three months so we have the chance to support lots of groups throughout the year – if any organisations need help with a project we’d really encourage them to apply to be a Community Champion.”

Now this set of Community Champion’s three months is up, new champions take over and members have begun raising money for different local groups. Shoppers can check the bottom of their till receipt from Tuesday 17th September to see who they’re supporting now, look for displays in store or find out online here.

The Community Champions are picked by Lincolnshire Co-op’s nine Members’ Groups, made up of dividend card holders from across the area.

As well as being one of around 320 Community Champions for local outlets each year, charities and community groups can join the central list. People can then choose to make them their Community Champion all year around. At the end of the financial year, Lincolnshire Co-op will add up all the money raised for local groups on that list and pay out the total.

Groups can apply for either via an application form which they can pick up in store or access at here
09 September 2013

Have You Got 'Lucky Numbers'?

Pharmacy staff from Lincolnshire Co-op will be asking the public to find out if they've got 'lucky numbers' by promoting free blood pressure checks during national Know Your Numbers! Week (16th to 22nd September).

44 Lincolnshire Co-op pharmacies will be among the 1,000 'Pressure Stations' taking part in the nation's biggest blood pressure testing event run by charity Blood Pressure UK. People will be able to drop in to their nearest pharmacy and have a free blood pressure check.

Many people don't have 'lucky numbers'.  A shocking 1 in 3 adults has high blood pressure and a third of them have no idea because it has no symptoms. It is the UK's biggest silent killer, responsible for 60 per cent of strokes and 40 per cent of heart attacks. High blood pressure is also a risk factor for kidney disease and dementia.

[Dennis Greene] Local football managers – who some would say have 'high-pressure' jobs – have joined forces with Lincolnshire Co-op to promote the free checks. Grimsby Town manager Paul Hurst, had his blood pressure tested at Cleethorpes Pharmacy and Boston Utd Manager Dennis Greene, had his free check at Kirton Pharmacy, near Boston.

New research from Blood Pressure UK has revealed that nearly 9 out of 10 people do not know their own blood pressure numbers but are twice as likely to know their lottery numbers.

Once identified, high blood pressure can be managed and returned to healthy levels.

Lincolnshire Co-op's Head of Pharmacy Alastair Farquhar said: "Having your blood pressure checked is quick, easy and painless.

"We're pleased to be working with charity Blood Pressure UK to urge all adults to find out their own blood pressure numbers – knowing your lottery numbers might not win you the lottery, but knowing your blood pressure numbers could save your life!"

All Lincolnshire Co-op pharmacies will be promoting Know Your Numbers Week!  except for Grantham, Witham St Hughs, Parkside and Liquorpond Street in Boston.

Free blood pressure checks are offered all year round at Lincolnshire Co-op's pharmacies as well as lots of other free services like support on giving up smoking, NHS Medicine Use Reviews and healthy living advice. Find your nearest branch here.
23 August 2013

Try a slice of local ham

Lunchboxes will be livened up with a new ham, made from county pork, on offer in Lincolnshire Co-op stores.

The Lincolnshire ham, produced by Houghton Hams, is made from pigs born and reared on two local farms in North Owersby near Market Rasen and Low Barlings at Langworth.

Both of these sites are also Farm Assured meaning they meet around 160 special standards to ensure higher welfare.

The meat is then cured to a unique family recipe for around a week to give it, its tasty flavour.

Houghton Hams is a family business which began in the 1980s with Nigel and Jo Wagstaff. They’ve since roped in their son Paul at the headquarters in Northampton.

Nigel said: "It’s great for us to have our product on sale in Lincolnshire Co-op as unlike big supermarkets, smaller co-ops are aware of the demand for traditionally made local food.

"People are also becoming much more aware of traceability. Our pork comes from local farms which are not only Farm Assured, but small and caring."

Lincolnshire ham is now available in all Lincolnshire Co-op foodstores with a delicatessen.
13 August 2013

Co-operative approach on libraries

Lincolnshire Co-operative has offered to join forces with a local authority to keep six libraries at the heart of their communities.

The organisation has shown an interest in working with Lincolnshire County Council to maintain library services in Welton, Boultham in Lincoln, Nettleham, Cherry Willingham and Spilsby. Towards the end of last year, the Co-op took on the running of Waddington Library (above), with the assistance of local volunteers. As a result, the library was moved into the village pharmacy on Bar Lane, trebling its opening hours.

Councillor Nick Worth, Executive Member for Libraries, said: "We want to keep all of Lincolnshire's libraries open. But to do that we need to find a new way of doing things. We welcome the Co-op's offer of support, and we'll be speaking to them about what help they can provide.

"We've already seen the success of our partnership approach in Waddington, which has brought the dual benefits of increased usage and lower running costs. Hopefully, this can be replicated at these other libraries.

"So far, we've been approached by 21 communities, who are interested in becoming involved in running local library services. I'm sure that, if everyone works together, we can create a service that's more efficient, more affordable and better tailored to local needs."

Spare space in Lincolnshire Co-op's Waddington Pharmacy is now used as a distinct library section. It features 4,000 books, a photocopier, a self-service machine, an enquiries desk and seating areas. A team of 16 volunteers cover the library for two to three hours a day and it is open for people to use for more than 43 hours a week. 

In the first six months of 2013, there was a 13 per cent increase in the number of active users compared to the same period the previous year, and almost double the number of new members joined.

Lincolnshire Co-op also carries out home deliveries for the library service in Louth, Ruskington and Gainsborough using pharmacy delivery vehicles. The Society has also offered the possibility of extending this scheme.

Ursula Lidbetter, Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Co-op, said: "As well as running our outlets, part of our role as a co-operative is to support the communities where we trade. The success of Waddington and helping with home deliveries shows us that we can play a part in making sure communities across Lincolnshire continue to have access to library services.

"We've submitted some ideas to the county council. If any of these are pursued, we'll need volunteers from the community who are also keen to sustain library services to come forward.

"We're happy to talk to people in those areas about our thoughts or about how we could help with alternative solutions. We can also share our experience of running Waddington with others or work with the council and community groups on how to recruit and manage teams of volunteers."

The Co-op's offer will now be considered as part of the on-going libraries consultation.

People have until 30 September to let the council know their views on the best way forward for the library service. They can do this by filling in the online questionnaire at . Alternatively, they can pick up a hard copy at their local library or call the customer service centre on 01522 782010.
22 July 2013

Grant Puts Wind Back in the Sails

A local windmill has been restored to its former glory with the help of a £1,500 donation from Lincolnshire Co-op.

Every five years Waltham Windmill must have a full refurbishment to keep it open to the public, at a cost of around £30,000.

The sails are 65 feet up and weigh one tonne each so Lincolnshire Co-op donated the money needed to hire a hydraulic cherry picker to reach them.

Each of the 70 shades in the six sails has been cleaned and repaired and the mill painted and tarred by a traditionally apprenticed millwright.[2013_07_22 Waltham Windmill]Roland Oldroyd, a member of the Waltham Windmill Preservation Society, describes the mill as a focal point for the village.

"The first thing you notice on the way into the village is the windmill and it’s such an important sight. To keep it going for another 300 to 400 years is our ambition.

"Without the grant from Lincolnshire Co-op restoring the mill would have been a very difficult task at an even greater cost to us. There’s nothing better than having local organisations support local projects."

Waltham Windmill is currently a Community Champion, meaning every time a member of Lincolnshire Co-op who lives in the area uses their dividend card, a donation will go to the mill.
17 July 2013

It's a Bug's Life for Local Kids

Mini-beasts are the hot topic at a local primary school after a £5,000 grant from Lincolnshire Co-op saw the creation of a new wildlife garden.

Children at Macaulay Primary Academy, in Grimsby, celebrated the official opening of the new area by making a selection of giant bugs from paper maché as well as performing songs, poetry and releasing balloons.

The grant was one of 150 Birthday Awards amounting to £500,000 given away to celebrate Lincolnshire Co-op’s 150th birthday.

Features in the wildlife garden at the end of the school field include a willow tunnel, wild grasses and benches.

Headteacher Julie Saunders said the children will use the area as part of their lessons in investigating wildlife and also as a quiet space for reading.

"We’re trying to extend our use of the outdoors and be more creative in our science, exploring and hands on learning," she said. "Not all children have gardens so it’s nice for them to experience the countryside in this brilliant natural environment."
01 July 2013

Award win for Lincolnshire Co-op

Lincolnshire Co-operative has seen off competition from across the country to win a prestigious award for engaging with its members.

The Excellence in Member Engagement Award is one of the annual awards run by
Co-operatives UK which recognise performance, innovation and excellence in the co-operative sector.

Lincolnshire Co-op scooped the win for its successful use of a variety of methods to encourage and engage members in running the business.

Among the projects recognised were Community Champions, the Society’s new way of sharing its profits, the ability to vote in elections for the Board of Directors at the till, and digital engagement including a bespoke Eshot service and social media channels.

President of Lincolnshire Co-operative Malcolm Hoskins said: "It is a real honour to be recognised with such an important award. Our members are at the heart of what we do so it’s fantastic to see our work in engaging them acknowledged."

It comes during Co-operatives Fortnight, a national celebration of co-ops which this year encourages people to ‘choose co-operative’ because they are ‘local, loved and trusted’.