VIRGINFor 67 years Nelson Mandela has dedicated his life to fighting for the rights of humanity. His constant commitment has inspired Sir Richard Branson and the team at Virgin Balloon Flights to give something back to our communities through the 'Mandela Day' campaign with Virgin Unite. When a personal video message form Sir Richard landed in our inboxes, we put on our thinking caps and set about deciding how to give just 67 minutes of our time each to make a difference to the community. Watch Richard's video message here! Celebrating both Sir Richard’s and Nelson Mandela’s birthdays on the 18th July, Virgin Balloon Flights decided to go full throttle for two weeks in the run up to Mandela Day. This is how we have swapped our personal time for community time;
  • As a thank you for continued support to keeping our county safe we baked cakes for the men on shift at the local fire station.
  • Three litter pickers filled three bin liners in their 67 minutes to clean up local rubbish.
  • Wednesday was weeding day and our local green spaces are now looking pretty.
  • Babysitting for single parents from a local church group was one evening’s agenda.
  • We blogged about a charity in need on our corporate blog page to support their ongoing campaign to get their charity mascot around the world in 80 ways, ‘Clatterbridge’ cancer charity blog
  • Using our social media tools we tried our best to spread the word about Mandela Day and how to get involved.
  • A donation of Virgin caps, pens and key rings was sent with a fellow volunteer to the children of The Pattaya Orphanage in Thailand.
  • We sent home baked cakes to put a smile on the faces of the local PDSA team, the animal welfare charity for pets in need of vets.
  • 7 bags of recycling were carted off to the local town recycling plant keeping our ‘Green Office Plan’ up to scratch.
  • Bags of dried and tinned food were collected and delivered to Teresa, the tenancy support officer for the council’s temporary accommodation and homelessness services.
  • Another cake day with local charity ‘Chairs and Spares’ receiving home baked cakes for helping those in the community who can’t afford to furnish their homes.
  • The final day, 67 items of jumble donated to a local Oxfam shop were gratefully received by volunteers Janet, Mikki and Liam.
Virgin Unite’s Charlotte Goodman said: “We are blown away by all the activities that the Virgin Balloon Flights team have carried out to celebrate the 67 Campaign and Nelson Mandela's birthday. The whole team are fully behind the initiative and have had a real impact in their local community. What a leading example they are; a great example of business as a force for good.”
The whole team at Virgin Balloon Flights have thoroughly enjoyed giving their time each day for the good of our local community; working together we can gain great momentum to make a difference. Mandela Day has been such an inspiration and we hope to be involved again in the future.