Teamwork key as top staff join in Big Clean campaign

CLEAN TEAM Members of the Southern Co-operative leadership team who participated in the Big Clean in Wickham. From left: Sarah Kavanagh, Mark Smith, Silena Dominy, Gemma Lacey and Steve Pearce.
CLEAN TEAM Members of the Southern Co-operative leadership team who participated in the Big Clean in Wickham. From left: Sarah Kavanagh, Mark Smith, Silena Dominy, Gemma Lacey and Steve Pearce.
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Workers from the Southern Co-operative swapped the shop floor for the streets of Wickham as part of Co-operative Fortnight’s Big Clean.

The initiative, organised by Co-operatives UK, is an annual event where co-operatives across the UK come together to help the community.

This year, the Big Clean focus ranged from cleaning up beaches to cleaning out old clothes for charity.

In a bid to make a difference locally, the Southern Co-operative’s leadership team, including Chief Executive Mark Smith, took to the streets of Wickham to pick up litter.

The team filled five large bin bags of rubbish in just two hours.

Gemma Lacey, Director of Sustainability and Communications at the Southern Co-operative, said: ‘Discarded cigarette litter was the most common type of litter we picked up, along with disposable cups and food packaging.

‘The Big Co-op Clean isn’t just about picking up litter; it’s about achieving more by working together.

‘It might sound obvious, but co-operating is central to our success as a co-operative – and we are part of something much bigger happening across the UK.’

Wickham Parish Clerk, Nicki Oliver, thanked the Southern Co-operative team and said: ‘Litter is an ongoing problem for local councils and we rely on volunteers to help out.

‘The visit from the Southern Co-operative has made a big difference and we greatly appreciate the team giving up their time to keep Wickham tidy.’

A further team of 14 colleagues from the Southern Co-operative’s central support office at 1000 Lakeside in Portsmouth joined a beach clean with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust along part of the River Itchen in Southampton.

Twenty-nine colleagues from the finance department volunteered for the disadvantaged children’s charity Second Chance, weeding, laying paving and clearing a pond area at their new site Solent Nurseries in Titchfield.

For more info visit uk.coop/choosecoop.