Co-operative Chief ‘drums’ up support for charity single

December 09, 2011

The Group Chief Executive of The Co-operative and a cast of colleagues have today (9 December) launched a charity record in aid of Mencap.

With Nirvana, TOWIE and even The Wombles tipped as contenders to challenge the X-Factor for the Christmas number one spot, the band, Angel Square, with Peter Marks on drums, has released a track to raise money for young people with a learning disability.

The eight piece outfit features staff from across The Co-operative including food, finance and the head office legal department.

Joining Peter Marks in the band and recording their version of the Take That hit ‘Greatest Day’ are; Trevor Ashworth, Director of food retail logistics, on keys; Lee Braddock who is responsible for the Food Supply Chain, on bass, Eivind Brown in IS and planning on rhythm guitar and, Dan Zambas from the finance department who plays lead guitar and snyths.

In addition, vocals are provided by Kat Harper who works in food media and communications, Caroline McCann from the Group’s legal department and, Dan Harley, a category merchandiser within the food division who is the band's musical director and lead vocalist.

The song is available for download and proceeds will raise money for The Co-operative’s charity of the year Mencap and its sister charity ENABLE Scotland to develop ‘Inspire Me’ – a programme designed to give up to 20,000 young people with a learning disability opportunities to change their futures.

Peter, whose day job is running The Co-operative Group – the UK’s largest mutual business with more than 6 million members - has given up spare time to rehearse and, as well as launching the single, the band will tonight play a live gig in the heart of ManchesterPeter Marks on the drums.

Angel Square, which is also the address of the Group’s new head office in Manchester, will play a full set including hits by Maroon 5, The Black Eyed Peas and The Rolling Stones, to a sell-out crowd at the city’s Band on the Wall venue.

Keen drummer Peter Marks, said: “I was once quoted as saying that if I wasn’t at The Co-operative, the only other job I would be interested in would be drumming for The Rolling Stones!

“I knew that the idea of a band formed entirely from co-operative colleagues had the potential to support our charity of the year. Given the great talent I see day in and day out in our business, I believed that we could form a really good band, but even my own high expectations have been surpassed by the talent in Angel Square.

“Throughout 2011, our fantastic staff, members and customers have raised more than £4.5 million for Mencap and ENABLE Scotland - money that is already having a tremendous and positive impact and offers an opportunity to transform the lives for a generation of young people with a learning disability.

“At a time when the co-operative business model is very much in fashion, the United Nations has proclaimed 2012 to be the International Year of Co-operatives and there are approaching one billion members of co-operatives worldwide …maybe, just maybe, we could give X-Factor a run for its money!”

Laura Gammage, Corporate Development Manager at Mencap, says "We have been overwhelmed by the support shown by everyone in The Co-operative Group and are delighted that this charity single will be raising even more money for Mencap and ENABLE Scotland to help support young people with a learning disability."

The single was recorded at Manchester’s School of Sound Recording (SSR) in November and released for digital download by legendary record label Revolver who, in their 30 year history have worked with a diverse array of artists including fellow Mancunian band The Stone Roses.

The song – ‘Greatest Day’ by ‘Angel Square’ - is available for download from Friday, 9 December, from iTunes and all good digital music stores priced 79p or, visit

Members of ‘Angel Square’ rehearsing at Band on the Wall, Manchester.

About The Co-operative Group:

The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, owned not by private shareholders but by over six million consumers. It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer, the leading convenience store operator and a major financial services provider, operating The Co-operative Bank, Britannia and The Co-operative Insurance. Among its other businesses are the number one funeral services provider and Britain’s largest farming operation. As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Group has also set out its social and sustainability goals in its groundbreaking Ethical Plan, which specifies almost 50 commitments in these areas. The Group operates 4,800 retail trading outlets, employs more than 106,000 people and has an annual turnover of more than £13bn. Further information is available at

The Co-operative Group's Charity of the Year partnership with Mencap and ENABLE Scotland forms an integral part of The Co-operative's commitment to Inspiring Young People. Money raised by its supportive staff, members and customers has launched the charity's innovative 'Inspire Me' programme, giving 20,000 young people with a learning disability across the UK the opportunity to transform their lives by gaining the skills and confidence needed to play a more active part in society.

Mencap works to support people with a learning disability and their families and carers by fighting to change laws and improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities. Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want. It is also one of the largest providers of services, information and advice for people with a learning disability across England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Mencap's sister charity, ENABLE Scotland, is the leading charity for children and adults with learning disabilities in Scotland. It is a member-led organisation with local ENABLE branches made up of volunteers, mostly people with learning disabilities and their families and carers. It too campaigns for people with learning disabilities to live full and independent lives and provides services to allow people to live, work and take part in their communities.

Contact Information:

Andrew Torr                                                                 
The Co-operative Group Press Office
Tel: 0161 827 5622                                                                                                    
Mob: 07702 505551                                                     

Dave Smith
The Co-operative Group Press Office
Tel: 0161 827 5614     
Mob: 07702 152771