The society is the sole sponsor of this year’s awards and is making the most of its sponsorship of what is the biggest national TV awards show of its kind.
Now in its tenth year, t he Pride of Britain Awards has a proud heritage as a prestigious national event that celebrates the achievements of the most inspiring and heroic people in the country – “Britain at its best”.
Co-op Group staff and members will play a starring role after being filmed for the sponsorship advertising slots that will feature at the beginning and end of the programme, as well as during the five commercial breaks.
They include Andrew Arscott, from The Co-operative Food, who dressed as a banana for a sponsored walk to raise money for disadvantaged children; Ed Toogood, from Internal Audit, who cycled from Land’s End to John ‘O’ Groats to raise money for Mediequip4kids, and a group from Co-operative Retail Logistics, who took part in a charity truck pull.
Co-operative member Dorothy Miller and fellow community choir members are also featured in the ads.
Meanwhile 11 lucky members of staff have won two gallery tickets and the chance to rub shoulders with the stars at the VIP after-show party, as part of an internal competition by The Co-operative to reward its employees for their own good works.
The “Britain at its best” theme is also an opportunity for the Group to celebrate quality British food, including The Co-operative Farms branded Maris Piper potatoes, which are now being promoted in Co-operative food stores in specially-designed packaging featuring the Pride of Britain logo.
The potatoes will be served to the stars at the awards evening when The Co-operative will be providing own-brand products for the meal. The Co-operative Truly Irresistible Free Range Freedom Food Scottish Chicken will also be on the menu.
The community retailer will showcase its quality British food to the scores of A-list celebrities that are expected to attend. In previous years, stars such as Sir Paul McCartney, Dame Helen Mirren and David & Victoria Beckham have taken part in the event.
Guests will also be able to choose from a selection of wines from The Co-operative’s award-winning Fairtrade wine range, and to toast the deserving winners with a glass of The Co-operative Les Pionniers Champagne.
Peter Marks, The Co-operative Group Chief Executive, who took part in judging the awards along with celebrities such as music mogul Simon Cowell, actor Bill Nighy and Olympic golden girl, Dame Kelly Holmes, said: “We have a brand that has community at its core, making us a natural partner and a perfect match for The Pride of Britain Awards.
“The event celebrates the best Britain has to offer and, as such, provides a unique opportunity for us to demonstrate our support to the communities in which we trade and to showcase some of the quality British products available at The Co-operative.”
He added: ”Whilst it’s fantastic that so many celebrities will be able to sample our products, the real stars on the night will, of course, be the award winners themselves, who should prove an inspiration to us all.”
The Pride of Britain Awards will be shown on ITV1 at 8pm, Wednesday 1 October 2008.