Prince’s Trust makes Lincolnshire Co-op a silver patron

The society gained the recognition for its Get Into Retail project which has helped more than 100 young people improve their prospects

A scheme which has helped over 100 young people improve their job prospects has led The Prince’s Trust to make Lincolnshire Co-op its newest silver patron.

Lincolnshire Co-op works in partnership with the charity to deliver the Get into Retail programme, which helps people aged 16 to 30 build their skillsets and find employment. Participants grow their confidence through training, teambuilding and volunteering. They also boost their CVs with a three-week placement in a Lincolnshire Co-op outlet.

So far 137 young people have participated in seven rounds of the programme since 2015, with 55% of those finding jobs with Lincolnshire Co-op. Other participants use their new skills to land roles with different local employers.

And following this success, Lincolnshire Co-op has been named a silver patron and a corporate partner with The Prince’s Trust.

It’s the only Lincolnshire-based business to have been awarded silver patron status by The Prince’s Trust.

Lincolnshire Co-op’s Chief Executive Ursula Lidbetter said: We’re proud to become a Prince’s Trust silver patron following the success of our Get into Retail scheme and the achievements of all those who’ve taken part in it.

“The scheme helps them unlock their talent, power up their confidence and land a job. Whether that role is with us or another local employer, it all helps boost the local economy.” 

Michele Farmer, The Prince’s Trust Regional Director, Central Region said: “Working with Lincolnshire Co-op in partnership on the Get into Retail programme has already helped make a difference to the lives of over 130 young people locally. 

“We are so pleased to be expanding this partnership with Lincolnshire Co-op becoming silver patrons of the Trust, working together in Lincolnshire for the next four years to transform even more young lives in the county.

“The support, tenacity, and enthusiasm from all Lincolnshire Co-op colleagues is what will make it possible for us to support even more young people to build confidence, access transformative courses, and shape their careers. When young people succeed, our country succeeds, and working together in partnership with great organisations like Lincolnshire Co-op is vital to achieve this.”

The silver patronage was awarded to Lincolnshire Co-op at a celebration event together with The Prince’s Trust and past participants. 

Tom Cullen is Team Leader at Lincolnshire Co-op’s Gibbet Nook Food Store and Filling Station near Coningsby. Next year he celebrates five years since starting work at Lincolnshire Co-op. He was one of the first to join the programme and it marked a turn in his career – before then he’d struggled to land a job despite doing well in interviews. Now, he’s in further training to develop the skills to one day run a food store. 

“I joined Lincolnshire Co-op’s LEAP programme last May. It helps train colleagues who’ve got potential to become the next generation of store managers. That’s what I’m aiming for, and after that I want to be Regional Manager,” he said.

“That one decision to try the Get into Retail programme has led to all this for me. If anyone is considering it, I’d tell them to take the opportunity.”

The newest and eighth round of the Get into Retail programme with Lincolnshire Co-op concluded today. For more information about the programme and how to apply for the next round, visit

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