Tuning up to raise a packet for charity

Mark Leivers, Amy Ratcliffe, Adam Brownley, Matt Reach and Jack Harris .
Mark Leivers, Amy Ratcliffe, Adam Brownley, Matt Reach and Jack Harris .

Not content with having raised £6,600 for an Ilkeston charity this year, building society staff are now recording a fundraising single.

Two members of staff from the Bath Street branch of The Derbyshire, who are more used to cashing up than tuning up, have been honing their vocal chords in a bid to challenge the coveted Christmas number one spot.

All the proceeds from their festive single This Time of Year will go to Ilkeston’s favourite charity The Ben Parker Trust, better known as Ben’s Den, run by Tracey and Darren Parker.

Jack Harris, who works as a counter clerk at the Ilkeston branch, is to play drums on the single, set for a limited CD release of 1,500 copies.

“We are hoping to raise another £4,000 by selling this single at our branches,” he explained.

“It’s such a good cause. Everyone around here knows Ben’s Den and we get so many people in branch who knew Ben or who are friends with Tracey and Darren.”

Most of the musicians in the six-piece Derbyshire Building Society Band are staff at the building society’s various branches around the region, including Mark Leivers on guitar, also from the Ilkeston branch.

The single will be officially launched at the Ilkeston FC’s function rooms, on November 30 amid a fundraising evening of entertainment.

The band have been practicing regularly and hope to record in Nottingham on November 10.

Tracey Parker, who set up Ben’s Den in memory of her son who died from cancer aged 13, said what the building society was doing was ‘brilliant’.

“We try to raise £10,000 a year for running the caravans and now we don’t have to worry about that,” she said.

Last month one of the caravans in Mablethorpe which the charity provides for terminally ill children was broken into.

“It puts things into perspective,” she said.

“It shows you that there are more people willing to help you than there are bad.”