Katharine has been rewarded for her loyal service to Lincolnshire Co-op

Lincolnshire Co-op President Stuart Parker, Katharine McGhie and Chief Executive Ursula Lidbetter
Lincolnshire Co-op President Stuart Parker, Katharine McGhie and Chief Executive Ursula Lidbetter

A woman from Gainsborough is among 16 Lincolnshire Co-op staff who have been honoured for their loyal service.

Katharine Mcghie, 54, has worked with the society for 25 years and currently works at Vanessa Drive Pharmacy in Gainsborough.

In total 16 staff from Lincolnshire Co-op were honoured after at a long service dinner after they have accumulated 415 years of loyal service. Awards were given out for 25 and 40 year milestones including staff from funeral branches, pharmacies and coffee shops.

Members of staff who were able to attend the celebration were presented with either a commemorative gold watch or £300 in Lincolnshire Co-op vouchers. Those reaching 40 years were given £500 in vouchers.

Katharine has been a Medicine Counter Assistant for 12 years at Vanessa Drive Pharmacy in Gainsborough and before that she was a Sales Assistant for 13 years in Lindsey Centre Food Hall.

She said: “I reached my early 40s and fancied a bit of a change, so I looked out for other roles within Lincolnshire Co-op because I wanted to stay with the Society. I’ve always been passionate about helping people so working in pharmacy seemed like something I would enjoy.”

Katharine says in her role it is important to be patient, friendly and have a sympathetic attitude as patients are often worried, concerned and even upset.

She said: “A particular challenge at the moment is the government cuts which are being applied to pharmacies, especially when we want to promote the services we offer, such as Medicine Use Reviews, health checks and flu jabs as they can take the strain off other parts of the NHS.

“The job has plenty of rewards though. It’s great seeing patients recover from health issues, especially through using our services. It really brings a smile to my face.”

Katharine says her biggest acheivement during her role has been reaching 25 years of employment and receiving her long service award.

She said: “Each member of Lincolnshire Co-op staff who reaches a milestone in their careers is honoured with an award, a special dinner and will be presented with a mug, a gold watch or vouchers depending on their length of service.

“It’s really been a highlight of my career.”

Katharine lives on the outskirts of Morton with her husband Kevin.

She went to Morton Primary School and then Castle Hills Secondary School.

She said: “I’ve always worked in retail locally and I joined Lincolnshire Co-op in 1991. This role was out of the blue but it came along at just the right time for me.”

Looking to the future Katharine hopes to remain employed with the Society and continue to help people in pharmacy.

When she is not at work Katharine still likes to get involved in Lincolnshire Co-op events outside of work, such as the Annual Member Meetings and Member Forums.

She said: “These are annual events hosted by Lincolnshire Co-op that bring members together to hear about the work the Society has done in the past year and have a say in how our co-operative runs.

“It’s a great chance to socialise with other members and my colleagues.

“I’m also interested in local history and supporting my local branch of St Barnabas Hospice at coffee mornings.”

One of the 16 staff honoured at the long service dinner, Sharon North from City Square Coffee Shop in Lincoln was the only one to receive her 40 year award.

Other staff honoured for 25 years of service were Rosemary Bayly, John Berry, Nicola Berry, Garry Brown, Danny Doherty, Ann Fowkes, Angela Holmes, Susan Kitchen, Bryan McFadyn, Yvonne Petch, Mark Robinson, Gary Robinson, Sandra Seymour and Susan West.