Doing business is not just about making money, it’s about creating positive change that benefits whole communities. We hold this to be true at Virgin, where we strive to improve the lives of the people who use our products and services. One great example of this is Virgin Money, and the creation of the Virgin Money Lounges.
Virgin Money has the ambition to make 'Everyone Better Off'. Not only does this mean simplifying banking, so that more people can get a better grasp on their finances, but also making people feel like they are part of something where they are supported and empowered. To do this, we introduced the Virgin Money Lounges. Modelled on our airline lounges, the Virgin Money Lounges are places where our customers, and those looking to explore our offering, can come and hang out, meet other people and be a part of something special. No transactions take place in the Lounges, but people can and do get information about our products.
We opened out first space in 2012, and now have seven UK Lounges (Edinburgh, Manchester, Norwich, Glasgow, Sheffield and two in London) – all of which are seen as part of the fabric of their cities. Our Lounges host so many wonderful events, ranging from council meet-ups, to police information nights – which give our guests information to protect them against fraud and other harm – to community functions that raise much-needed funds for charity groups.
Towards the end of last year, our Glasgow Lounge held Glasgow's Got Talent; attracting a number of acts including singers, pianists, guitarists and a sax player. The event was attended by a lot of non-customers, who I’m told couldn’t quite believe what they were seeing in a bank on a cold Thursday night. The evening raised important funds for Virgin Money’s corporate charity of the year, Heads Together – a great cause driving awareness about mental health.
We were thrilled to receive the following note from one of our community members: "Thanks for arranging this wonderful event; I hope you raised some money for your charity. It’s especially significant for me as I have been struggling to get my confidence back, following a breakdown. You made me very welcome and 'at ease' and helped me a great deal.”
I was so humbled reading this; it perfectly sums up why we founded the Virgin Money Lounges, and why we continue to create great businesses that seek to spur positive change.
Business can play an important role in fostering healthy and happy communities, which is exactly what I’m proud to say Virgin Money is doing. The Lounges are thoughtful and inclusive, which brings people together. What’s more, in 2016 the seven locations held 487 events and raised over £100,000. A wonderful achievement! Congratulations team, and thanks for all your hard work.
Have you visited one of our Lounges yet? Let me know what you think.