A high-flying 25-year-old has won a once-in-a-lifetime trip to South Africa with Sir Richard Branson to visit an inspirational business-led charity.

Kirsty Mills, who works at our Virgin Balloon Flights HQ in Telford, will fly out to meet the famous adventurer and businessman at The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in Johannesburg tomorrow (December 8).

There she will spend time with Sir Richard and learn all about the charity which was founded in 2006 by Virgin Unite – Virgin’s not-for-profit foundation – to nurture promising entrepreneurs, grow businesses and create jobs in deprived areas.

Marketing executive Kirsty is also a volunteer Virgin ‘Insider’ - one of a select band of Virgin employees tasked with making businesses a force for good from within - and won the opportunity as recognition for her work on charity projects at Virgin Balloon Flights and across the wider group.

These included a campaign which raised almost £8,000 for Hope House Children’s Hospices, a series of community events for Mandela Day and a hit squad to help children’s charity Starlight. She was also nominated for a Virgin Star of the Year Award in 2010.

On Saturday (December 9) Kirsty will also assist at the South Africa launch of Sir Richard’s new book ‘Screw Business as Usual’ – all royalties for which will go to Virgin Unite - by becoming Virgin Unite’s representative on Twitter for the day. Follow her progress @virginunite

She said: “Since joining Virgin Balloon Flights in January 2010, I have had some amazing opportunities, but going to South Africa and working with Richard will take some beating. I just can’t wait.

“The Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship is an amazing charity which is using business to make a real difference for people in deprived areas of South Africa, so it will be fantastic to visit and see for myself how it works.”

More information about Virgin Balloon Flights in Staffordshire and around the UK is available at www.virginballoonflights.co.uk