A Central England Co-op Ripley employee puts her retirement on hold to support the community during coronavirus pandemic

A kind hearted Central England Co-op Ripley employee has delayed her retirement so she can remain on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic ensuring her community has food and essentials.

Friday, 24th April 2020, 10:29 am
Updated Friday, 24th April 2020, 10:30 am

Pam Eley, 65, has just celebrated 20 years working for Central England Co-op at its Derby Road supermarket and was all set to enjoy a well-deserved retirement at the end of April.

However, Pam decided to postpone until later in the summer to continue to serve her community during these testing times and to help her colleagues as they continue to provide an outstanding service to customers and members.

Pam said: “I was looking forward to retirement but when all this happened and we were absolutely flat out as food was going off the shelves as quick as we were putting it out, it didn’t feel right to leave and I wanted to keep helping out and doing my bit.

Pam Eley presented with flowers to mark her 20 years of service at Central England Co-op in Ripley

“We have had people come and go over the years, but we are a really close-knit team here and there are colleagues who have been working here even longer than me. It will be sad to leave so I don’t mind putting it off a bit.

“We have a lot of regular customers so it’s nice to keep seeing them and helping them while I can. We have had quite a few people thank us for what we are doing which is nice and makes it all worthwhile.”

Pam, who lives in nearby Codnor, is married to Ray who said he understood Pam’s decision to put off her retirement and left the decision up to her.

Pam added: “We wanted to do some travelling and gardening when I retired but obviously with us being in lockdown that is all on hold so it makes sense for me to keep going as we couldn’t go far anyway.”

Central England Co-op Derby Road store manager Nathan Burrows paid tribute to Pam as the team presented her with some flowers for her 20 years of service.

He said: “I would like to thank Pam for her 20 years of service and her contribution over that time and her support now is really appreciated by us all.

“The fact she has postponed her retirement to support the team and the community is fantastic and shows the kind of colleague and character she is and shows true co-operative commitment in these challenging times.”

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