UP CLOSE: Co-op Member Pioneer Coordinator Deb Wozencraft

Conwy 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 Conwy’.

We caught up with Deb Wozencraft who works for the Co-op, coordinating Co-op’s Member Pioneers in Llandudno Junction and Deganwy.

Co-op’s Member Pioneers bring together its members, colleagues and local causes to help its communities.

It’s Deb’s job to coordinate the Member Pioneers and ensure that Co-op invests in North Wales communities to the best of its ability.

You can read our first interview with Deb here.

So what has Deb been up to for the past six months since our last catch up?

Deb explained that Llandudno Junction and Deganwy Co-op stores were in the process of hiring new Member Pioneers but said many of the community initiatives being rolled out across North Wales would soon arrive in Conwy.

“We’ve been recruiting Member Pioneers,” said Deb. “So we’ve recruited someone in the Rhos-on-Sea area, and they’re currently recruiting in Deganwy and Llandudno Junction, so hopefully we’ll have somebody (as a Member Pioneer) in the next couple of weeks for that area.

“We’ve also been holding live events. Obviously, due to COVID and the restrictions, we’ve had to do most of the stuff online. So, we did something towards the end of February focusing on FairTrade fortnight, which was successful.

“I’ve always got my doubts about online events because I’d much rather do things face to face, but it turned out really well because we had a specific subject (Fair Trade) and we had the local Member Pioneer rallying the troops. That was in the Wrexham area, and we’ll be doing something similar up in Conwy in the autumn.”

So what makes Member Pioneers so important to Co-op’s ethos?

“Again it’s getting the Member Pioneers involved in the community,” she said.

“For instance, the Member Pioneers in Anglesey have been very busy with a big thank you weekend, thanking the emergency services and the NHS for the work they did during lockdown. And we’ve now got a Member Pioneer in Llanfairfechan, so I’ll be meeting with him shortly to find out what’s going on there too.

“Member Pioneers have also been involved in helping to promote the Local Community Fund. All the work that the Member Pioneers do has to come under our three pillars: fairer access to food, mental wellbeing and opportunities for young people."

She added: “Community is our lifeblood, and without the support of local communities, we wouldn’t exist, so it’s very much part of the ship, and again the Member Pioneers are our eyes and ears on the ground. They are chosen very much for the connection they’ve got with their local community. They have a small budget, with which they can help support events and things, and hopefully we will see some opening up of community events again as soon as COVID restrictions are eased.”

If any local groups or organisations would like to get in contact with Deb, this can be done by emailing [email protected]

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.

Become a Member Pioneer. Apply online at communityspirit.co.uk

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Jimmy Carr - Terribly Funny

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