Students in Manchester were left smiling as they waved off a 1970s camper van on its national tour to drive awareness of the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives.
The van, ran by the Co-operative Group, is set to go on a six month tour of the UK to show how “co-operatives make the world smile”.
Mark Robinson-Field, National Co-operative and Membership Manager for the Co-operative Group, said: “During its tour the camper van will bring the co-operative message to thousands of would-be co-operators as well as giving our members and customers a chance to find out more about how co-operatives can make a real difference to everyone’s day-to-day lives.”
The Year 7 students from the Co-operative Academy of Manchester showed off their smiles as they got a tour of the van and received stickers, comedy smile postcards and a make-your-own mini model of the iconic van itself.
Kathy Leaver, Principal of The Co-operative Academy of Manchester, said: “The van is great fun and a unique way to engage our first year students about the benefits of co-operation.
“It forms part of our commitment to work co-operatively and enable young people from across North Manchester to experience education in a creative, vibrant and caring environment which motivates them to achieve their full potential.”
The public are also being asked to share a smile online for the chance to win £100 of shopping vouchers from the Co-operative Food.
Mr Robinson-Field continued: "The camper van tour is a an engaging way to highlight the significant contribution of co-operatives to world-wide socio-economic development and forms part of our activities to mark the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives.”
The vehicle will visit hundreds of places on its tour to promote co-operatives for 2012.
For more information and, the chance to win £100 of Co-operative shopping vouchers, visit www.co-operative.coop/smiletour
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