Shop staff honoured in 'OSCAS'

SHOP staff who are Co-operative by name and by nature scooped a series of accolades at an awards event. Around 250 guests from across East Anglia took part in an event to celebrate the achievements of colleagues at the second East of England Co-op Outstanding Services to Customers and Staff (OSCAS) awards evening.

SHOP staff who are Co-operative by name and by nature scooped a series of accolades at an awards event.

Around 250 guests from across East Anglia took part in an event to celebrate the achievements of colleagues at the second East of England Co-op Outstanding Services to Customers and Staff (OSCAS) awards evening.

Actor and reality TV show winner Christopher Biggins, who was crowned King of the Jungle in ITV's I'm a Celebrity - Get me out of here, co-hosted the event, which took place at Trinity Park, Ipswich, on Wednesday .

Awards were presented to outstanding individuals and top performing branches of the society, the largest independent retailer in East Anglia with more than 200 trading outlets.


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The top accolade, the Society Employee of the Year award, went to section head at West Mersea Co-op supermarket Lesley Marshall, who has worked at the store for more than 20 years.

Ms Marshall said she was shocked when she heard she had been nominated, and “thrilled to bits” at lifting both the Gold Award in her category and the overall winner title.

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She paid tribute to her colleagues for their support over the past two years, after she suffered health problems.

Richard Samson, chief executive of the East of England Coop, said he believed this year's awards event had surpassed last year's with exuberant actor Christopher Biggins playing a big part in making the event special.

“It is a great accolade to be nominated for one of our OSCAS awards, particularly as nominations this year were made by society colleagues. Our business is all about co-operation and coming together in this way to acknowledge those who have done something extra special in the past year is very important,” he said.

“The Co-op is a very special organisation and I am proud to lead such a fantastic team of people. I am delighted for all of our winners and congratulate Lesley Marshall on becoming our Employee of the Year - she is a worthy winner.”

During the evening, Mr Biggins entertained guests with tales of his experiences in the jungle and from his long acting career.

The award winners were:

Store/Branch of the Year Category: Supermarket gold award, Manningtree Fiveways; silver award, Brightlingsea Fiveways; Also nominated, Framlingham Solar supermarket, Leiston Solar supermarket. Local Food Store gold award, Wivenhoe; silver award, Sible Hedingham; Also nominated, Coggeshall Food Store, Kelvedon Food Store. Specialist Retail gold award, Clacton Home Store; silver award, Hadleigh Funeral; Also nominated: Frinton Travel, Nacton Road Petrol Forecourt.

Employee of the Year Category: Supermarket gold award Lesley Marshall, section head, West Mersea Co-op Supermarket; silver award, Russell Meekings, assistant manager, Halstead Solar Supermarket; Also nominated, Mark Bardwell, Combs Ford Solar Supermarket; Carol Mayers, Burnham Fiveways Supermarket; Rebecca Pegg, Felixstowe Solar Supermarket; Mandy Thompson, Clacton Fiveways Supermarket. Local Food Store gold award, Lloyd Cushion, trainee food store manager, Horsford Food Store; silver award, Eira Cursons, general assistant/checkout operator, West Bergholt Food Store; Also nominated: Maureen Bird, Sible Hedingham Food Store, Jackie Hawkins, Norwich Station Food Store, Jennifer Rounds, Belstead Hills Ipswich Food Store, Michael Simcock, Fronks Road Dovercourt Food Store. Specialist Retail gold award, John Lawrence, warehouse operative, Paul's Road Distribution Warehouse, Ipswich; silver award, Paul Sparkes, funeral director, Stowmarket Funeral; Also nominated, Sandra de Bruin, Witham Jewellery, Sheila Holroyd, Felixstowe Pharmacy, Ruby Howes, Ipswich Department Store, Jonathan Lewis, Clacton Home Store. Non Trading gold award, Christine Allen, clerk, Dividend Office, Colchester; silver award, Paul Robinson, merchandising manager, Trading Group Office; Also Nominated, Wendy Bradbeer, HR Services (payroll), Peter Robinson, Building Services, Claire Sawyer, Trading Group Office, Sandra Trombetta, Administration Office. Overall Society Employee of the Year Category: Lesley Marshall, section head, West Mersea Co-op Supermarket.

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