East of England Co-op was among the 34 organisations honoured with a Princess Royal Training Award for creating lasting impact by successfully linking skills development with community investment.
The co-op was commended for its commitment to training and skills development by HRH The Princess Royal at a ceremony at St James’ Palace in London.
All winners – including prestigious car manufacturers, healthcare organisations and charities – demonstrated that training can make a significant impact on employee morale, productivity and customer service.
The judges were particularly impressed by East of England’s dementia-friendly retail awareness training, which involved four training modules for 4,500 colleagues.
East of England’s joint chief executive Mark O’Hagan, who collected the award, said: “As a community retailer it’s important that we support local people to retain their independence and feel a part of their community for as long as possible.
“We made a pledge to become the first dementia-friendly retailer in our region. Our aim has been to create an environment where people living with dementia, together with their families and carers, feel comfortable and safe to shop. We also wanted to provide our colleagues with the necessary knowledge and skills for them to confidently support our customers when needed.
“Over 80% of our colleagues have completed the training voluntarily so far, and it’s made available to all new starters. In true co-operative spirit, we’re now offering our e-learning to other businesses and communities.”
More than 50,000 people are living with dementia across the region, which is set to rise by 2030.
- To read The Princess Royal’s foreword to the City and Guilds Group Commissioners’ Report, visit com/cityandguildsgroup/docs/prta_commissioners_report