Up Close: Co-op member Pioneer Claire Mason

Thurrock Nub News aims to support our community, promoting shops, businesses, charities, clubs and sports groups. We will be profiling some of these businesses and organisations regularly in a feature called 'Up Close in Thurrock’.

Supporting local people is a big part of life at Thurrock’s Co-op stores.

AND it’s very much a team affair from staff. Whether it’s liaising with schools, community groups and businesses, one of the Co-op’s Member Pioneers Claire Mason is just delighted to be one of the store colleagues that make a real difference in the local community.

Claire has been recently been working with local primary school Quarry Hill Academy which has signed up to be a Foodshare Partner after Claire introduced them to the scheme.

The innovative Co-op scheme makes the most of food that might otherwise be thrown away. Unsold, good food on Co-op shelves that is approaching its out of date rating is distributed to Co-op partners who then distribute it to feed people in local communities in need.

Claire, 47, says: “It’s a great programme and it’s so good to be working with Quarry Hill’s staff and pupils to pass this food on.

“The food we are able to donate will vary depending on what’s available on the day, but donations will typically be bakery, fresh fruit and veg and also some fresh meat and chilled products.

“It’s just another part of what is a wonderful role to have, this really is my dream job. I just love meeting people and helping those in our local community in need.”

Member Pioneers can be colleagues in stores or members of the community. They create local action plans that mean Co-op can provide support at a local level. They work very closely with the Local Community Fund recipients; Local Causes that are chosen by the local Co-op Members. They can be charities, local community groups or food banks.

“I couldn’t ask for anything more, it’s really a pleasure to go in to work knowing that you are going to be able to make a difference to people’s lives,” says Claire, who is committed to her community role outside of work as well as in it – she is her local Neighbourhood Watch coordinator and plays euphonium and trombone in Grays Town Band!

“I get a real kick out of being able to help people,” she concludes.

If any local groups or organisations would like to get in contact with Claire, this can be done through Claire’s Facebook page - Click here.

If you've got any ideas on how Co-op could help your community , or want to know what Co-op is doing near you then contact the Co-op Member Pioneer Co-ordinator for your area, who will then put you in touch with your local Member Pioneer.

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