Learning disability nurse Mark’s jubilee song has the flags waving in Doncaster

Learning disability nurse Mark Coley was quick to put pen to paper when he needed a happy song for his patients to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Thursday, 2nd June 2022, 1:16 pm

A talented musical entertainer in his spare time, Mark had three verses and a chorus penned in less than five minutes, before singing the lyrics in the new 32 track studio he’s created at home and playing all the ukulele, trumpet, guitar and keyboard backing instruments himself.

A staff nurse at Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust’s (RDaSH) Diamond Activity and Therapeutic Centre, on Doncaster’s Tickhill Road site, Mark said: “Our patients wanted a cheery song that they could sing along to for the Jubilee, so that was all the prompt I needed.

"They gave me some ideas and I came up with Wave Your Flags (For the Queen ), a nice, simple catchy song that captures the nation’s mood.”

Talented nurse Mark Coley

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RDaSH staff videoed Mark singing and signing the words in Makaton – he’s a regional tutor for the language – with nursing colleagues marching by waving flags. The video can be seen here: https://youtu.be/JJRNKQpLRJ4

A former professional entertainer, Mark started with the NHS 30 years ago and regularly pens songs for the Diamond Centre’s adult service users, who come from all areas of Doncaster daily.

His skills are boundless - including juggling and riding a unicycle – and is a regular visitor to nursing homes to perform his popular George Formby routine.

No slouch at general knowledge, Mark appeared on TV’s The Weakest Link in 2008 and 1 versus 100 in 2009, when he pocketed a nearly £60,000 first prize as the last quizzer standing.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.