Approx 890 words.
Kenny Davidson, from our Pitlochry Store, is the winner of this year’s Member Choice Awards having been nominated by Co-op Member, Judith Dingwall, for the incredible support he’s offered her and their community during the pandemic.
Judith was one of more than 4,000 members who joined in to nominate a Co-op member of staff for the award, which recognises those individuals who have gone ‘above and beyond’ in the service they provide to customers and communities.
She nominated Kenny for the amazing support he has extended to his local Covid Community Support Group during the pandemic.
At the start of lockdown in March 2020, Judith was one of a group of people from different local organisations to form Pitlochry and Moulin Community Support Group.
The Support Group coordinated a team of more than 100 volunteers to assist with tasks for the vulnerable people in the community.
Classed as vulnerable and self-isolating during the first lockdown, Kenny put his time away from the Pitlochry Co-op store to good use by volunteering every day and helping where he could to make a difference in his local area.
Alongside his fiancée, Annette, Kenny helped staff the support group’s telephone helpline, and helped to communicate the steps Co-op were taking to adapt and serve the community throughout the pandemic
“Kenny attended our weekly coordinator team meetings on Zoom, and we were able to work closely with the Pitlochry Co-op store through him,” says Judith.
“It was great to use our phone lines and word of mouth through our volunteers to let older people know when the quieter shopping times were, when the phone shopping service was set up, and then the home delivery service too.
“Kenny was also able to direct us to Co-op staff members who were isolating and would benefit from our fish and chip deliveries.”
In December, Kenny helped coordinate the distribution of boxes of mince pies and cards from Co-op to volunteers, and even stepped up to bring some festive cheer to Pitlochry.
“Without hesitation Kenny agreed to dress up as a penguin to bring joy and raise spirits in the town during the run up to Christmas,” says Judith.
“We employed ‘King Kenny Penguin’ on our pensioner fish and chip deliveries to promote our shop window kids penguin hunt, and for a photo shoot at the local radio station, even giving up his lunch break to get involved.
“It is this willingness to take part and put himself out for others that makes Kenny such a worthy recipient of this award.”
Kenny really demonstrated the close link between Co-op and the people of Pitlochry, says Judith, and his help was a huge benefit to those in her local community.
“For the support group to know they had a link with our Co-op store in the form of someone so reliable and cooperative meant a great deal.
“He brought information, reassurance, communication and most of all a generous and good-natured feel during a time we all very much needed it.
“And he did it all without looking for any praise or thanks.”
Judith says the pandemic has brought her community closer together.
“The Co-op staff have all been absolute stars with their dedicated presence every day.”
This was the first time that Judith had got involved and nominated a staff member for an award, and she is delighted to have been given the opportunity by Co-op to say a public thank you to Kenny.
“I think it is great that the Co-op reach out to its members this way.
“I felt compelled to nominate Kenny for the Members’ Choice award as I recalled how helpful and significant a part our local Co-op shop played in helping us all during the height of the pandemic.
“Kenny really made our relationship with the store easy and, as a result, everyone benefitted, and we all worked together.
“It is lovely to have the opportunity to recognise one of our own and say thank you.”
Judith was surprised and delighted that Kenny was shortlisted for the award and is ‘chuffed’ to hear members voted him as the most deserving of our 2021 Members’ Choice Award in our Being Co-op Awards.
“All of us went through our own ups and downs through the past 18 months but Kenny really has gone above and beyond with all he did for the community and putting others first,” she says.
Barry Jardine, manager of Pitlochry Co-op Store, said: “It’s brilliant that Kenny was nominated for this award.”
“It is so well deserved. It has really lifted the spirits of the whole team at the store, which is just great.”
Thanks to Judith, and all the members from across the UK, for sharing their inspiring stories, and to all the staff they nominated for the amazing work they do in communities every day. Every person nominated has received a special ‘thank you’ for going above and beyond.
A huge congratulations to Kenny, who is an outstanding example of ‘Being Co-op’, and whose kindness and support has made such a difference to Judith and those in their local area during such a difficult time.
If you’re a Co-op member who would like to get involved in your Co-op, head to your member account to see what opportunities are currently available.
Being Co-op Awards Team