Banging the drum for The Co-operative’s charity of the year, Group Chief Executive Peter Marks with an eight-piece band of colleagues raised more than £60,000 for young people with a learning disability.
The band, Angel Square – which features staff from across The Co-operative including food, finance and the head office legal department with their Group Chief Executive, Peter Marks, on drums - played a sell-out gig at Manchester’s Band on the Wall venue before releasing a song for digital download though Revolver Records.
The Co-operative – which has a retail store in every postal area - is committed to inspiring young people and has been ‘single’ minded in its efforts throughout the year to raise money for young people with a learning disability.
Proceeds from the single and the concert will add to over £4.5 million already raised by The Co-operative’s staff, members and customers to allow Mencap, and 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 songs by artists including Maroon 5, The Black Eyed Peas, and The Rolling Stones. Along with Angel Square’s single, a version of Take That’s hit Greatest Day.
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 been raising money 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.”
The band’s relationship with Revolver Records - who, in their 30 year history have worked with a diverse array of artists including fellow Mancunian band The Stone Roses - stemmed from its sister company, Revolver World, receiving advice and guidance from The Co-operative Enterprise Hub which helped it to register as a co-operative and, also with business planning.
After successfully sourcing and distributing Fairtrade T-shirts and hoodies, Revolver World decided to widen its product range to include coffee sourced directly from co-operatives in Colombia, Tanzania and Uganda, using its music industry experience to bring this fair and equitable approach to enterprise to a wide demographic.
Angel Square is named after the address of The Co-operative’s new head office in Manchester and, the single was recorded at Manchester’s School of Sound Recording (SSR) – it is available for download from iTunes and all good digital music stores priced 79p or, go to www.angelsquareband.com
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 www.co-operative.coop
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.
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