Heart of England Co-op scoops awards for community work and customer service

The society picked up the Corporate Commitment to the Community Award, and its Funeral Division took the Customer Service Excellence Award

Staff at the Heart of England Co-operative are celebrating two prestigious awards in one week.

The society, which operates a network of food stores and funeral homes in Coventry, Warwickshire, south Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, picked up the Corporate Commitment to the Community Award in the Coventry Telegraph Business Awards.

The award came on the back of the Funeral Division’s success in the Leamington Business Awards, in which staff at the society’s Leamington funeral home won the Customer Service Excellence award.

Chief executive Ali Kurji was among those who attended the Coventry Telegraph Business Awards at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on 16  November.

He and his workforce were recognised for their consistent efforts in achieving success for the business, staff and customers.

He said: “We are delighted to win this award. Every day we strive to continue building on our reputation as a responsible employer and a proactive member of our community. Corporate responsibility has been at the heart of our organisation since our foundations were laid 185 years ago and this award is a testament to the daily contribution of all our staff – from the boardroom to the shop floor.”

The society has always carried out charitable and community activities throughout its trading area. In 2000 – when the Coventry and East Mercia Co-operative changed its name to the Heart of England Co-operative Society – it pledged to improve the lives or quality of life for everyday people within its community.

Since then the society has ploughed more than £950,000 of its own profit back into good causes – to the support of local projects which work to ease or enrich lives – and is set to break through the £1m barrier in 2018.

Now in their fourth year, the Leamington Business Awards celebrate the achievements of businesses and individuals in the town, promoting the best it has to offer.

Judges highlighted The Co-operative Funeralcare’s Leamington funeral home for demonstrating excellence in customer service, seeking and acting on feedback from customers and implementing strategies to ensure every client family receives the highest level of customer care.

Darryl Smith, the general manager of the society’s funeral division, was among those who attended the awards ceremony at the Royal Pump Rooms in Royal Leamington Spa.

He said: “We strive to ensure every member of staff is trained to the highest standard and this accolade is testament not only to our front of house team in Leamington – who work every day to offer our customers a caring, dedicated, professional service – but also to our back of house staff who play an equally important role in ensuring every one of our client families is offered the best experience throughout.”

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