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Virgin Money mergin’ with CYBG

Following the completion of the deal between the two companies that was first announced in May, Virgin Money has joined forces with CYBG. The combination of CYBG with Virgin Money will mean a new national competitor in the banking sector, with the ambition being to deliver the best customer service in the UK. The new Group is double the size of any other challenger bank and is the only bank outside the traditional ‘big five’ with genuine full-service retail and SME capability. The retail brand for the combined group will transition to the Virgin Money brand over the next three years.  It will offer a complementary mix of product expertise, combining CYBG’s strengths in personal and business current accounts and its successful digital platform, shared strengths in mortgages and Virgin Money’s expertise in credit cards and savings.

“The Virgin Group started Virgin Money…

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Cute Dog vs Zombie Babies Halloween Prank: Cute Dogs Maymo & Potpie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niSCbf_LCco
Cute Dog vs Zombie Babies Halloween Prank: Cute Dogs Maymo & Potpie
To use this video in a commercial player, advertising or in broadcasts, email Brave Bison: licensing@bravebison.io Subscribe! http://bit.ly/VzYUvE
Maymo's Instagram: http://goo.gl/1MrHRh
Maymo's Facebook: http://on.fb.me/UPC8d7
Maymo's Twitter: http://bit.ly/Wk4dxX Watch Funny Dogs Maymo, Potpie & Penny get pranked by a plethora of zombie babies for Halloween! These cute beagle dogs don't know how to react at first when confronted by these kooky zombie babies – but they quickly jump into action, to defeat, then befriend the scary zombies! #dogs #halloween #zombie #prank #zombiebaby #perro #cachorro #perros Music: "Spooky Ride" by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Source: http://www.twinmusicom.org/song/250/spooky-ride
Artist: http://www.twinmusicom.org …

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Virgin Trains launches prison employability training programme

Virgin Trains has launched the first in-prison employability training programme aimed at building the skills prisoners will need to make them job-ready on the day of release. The three-week employment and business course has been piloted at HMP Styal, a women’s prison near Manchester. Run in partnership with prison education and training provider Novus, the course will utilise Virgin Trains’ experience in delivering excellent customer experience as well as working with people with convictions. It comes two years after the rail operator made in-prison recruitment fairs a part of its regular recruitment process and removed the criminal record declaration box from its application forms. The pilot is believed to be the only privately-run training course which focuses on ‘soft skills’ such as building confidence, time-keeping and managing workplace relationships, which are highly valued by employers. It also complements the skills training programmes developed in prisons by other employers such as Timpson and Halfords.

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World Mental Health Day: Looking after your mental health at work

Today (October 10th) is World Mental Health Day and on Virgin.com we’re be marking it with a panel discussion on how to embrace self-care in the workplace and support your co-workers livestreamed on our Facebook page and right here from 4.45pm (BST). One in four people in the UK suffer from mental ill-health each year, and 38 per cent of British people say that they are worried that revealing a mental health problem could jeopardise their career. According to the UK Centre for Mental Health, mental health issues cost businesses £35 million a year but with adoption of some simple workplace initiatives, 30 per cent of those costs could be offset.

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Illustration by Llanakila for…

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Editor’s letter: Josh Giegel on creating a transport system for the 21st century

Josh Giegel, Virgin Hyperloop One co-founder and CTO, takes the reins as Guest Editor for our Smarter Travel Spotlight series. Here Josh explains how hyperloop technology is in a unique position to meet the diverse needs of modern society. I quit my job at a premier spaceflight company near the end of 2014 on a mission that potential investors tried to talk me out of, “you’re young, you can do anything, this is a waste of time…” I knew all I needed was to was find a team of people just as committed as I was – we would do something nobody thought possible. In 2014, hyperloop was an idea drawn on a whiteboard in a garage. A little over two years later, we built a full-scale prototype and I was giving a tour to none other than my former boss, Richard Branson, at our Nevada test site. He quizzed me about my choice to…

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Dogs vs Giant Witch Prank: Funny Dogs Maymo, Penny & Potpie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3C7vxx72vp4
Dogs vs Giant Witch Prank: Funny Dogs Maymo, Penny & Potpie
Witch Mask made by Mark A. Schneider: www.faustandcompany.com
To use this video in a commercial player, advertising or in broadcasts, email Brave Bison: licensing@bravebison.io Subscribe! http://bit.ly/VzYUvE
Maymo's Instagram: http://goo.gl/1MrHRh
Maymo's Facebook: http://on.fb.me/UPC8d7
Maymo's Twitter: http://bit.ly/Wk4dxX Watch funny dogs Maymo, Penny & Potpie get pranked for Halloween by a giant, scary witch! The three beagle dogs waste no time in tackling the haggard intruder, who has a surprise of her own! #funnydogs #halloween #witch #costumes #dogs #cachorros #perros #perro #cachorro Music: "Dark Hallway" by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/?keywords=Hallway&Search=Search
Artist: http://incompetech.com/
and
"Happy Haunts" by Aaron Kenny …

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Dogs vs Giant Minion Prank: Funny Dogs Maymo, Penny, & Potpie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjQo8wSzfeQ
Dogs vs Giant Minion Prank: Funny Dogs Maymo, Penny, & Potpie
To use this video in a commercial player, advertising or in broadcasts, email Brave Bison: licensing@bravebison.io Subscribe! http://bit.ly/VzYUvE
Maymo's Instagram: http://goo.gl/1MrHRh
Maymo's Facebook: http://on.fb.me/UPC8d7
Maymo's Twitter: http://bit.ly/Wk4dxX Watch funny dogs Maymo, Penny & Potpie get pranked by a giant Minion from the Despicable Me movie. The dogs are first approached by a smaller minion who steals their things in order to build a fort in the living room. When the cute beagle dogs explore the minions new fort, they get an unexpected surprise! #dogs #minions #prank #funnydogs #cachorro #perro #perros #कुत्तेकी Music: "Brain Trust" by Wayne Jones and "Fun Activity Montage" by Biz Baz Studio …

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From Don’t Look Down to The Aeronauts

Delighted to see my old ballooning adventures partner Per Lindstrand still at the cutting edge of ballooning – and set to bring its magic to many more people.

Image by Thierry Boccon-Gibod

Per was alongside me on our record-breaking hot-air-balloon trips across the Atlantic and the Pacific, and our round-the-world journeys. We had a lot of ups and downs, quite literally from up in the jetstream to down in the ocean, but somehow managed to survive several close shaves with death together. Wonderfully, we remain friends to this day too. Now Per’s company, Lindstrand Balloons, have built an original Victorian balloon craft – and flown it – for new film The Aeronauts. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie, which tells the tale of James Glaisher and Henry Coxwell’s 1862 attempt to understand how rain is formed (and break some ballooning records along the…

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How Virgin Holidays is creating a culture of inclusion

Virgin Holidays has been a champion of LGBT rights for a long time. From participating in various Pride parades around the UK to promoting LGBT friendly holidays, the tour operator has done a lot to help the LGBT community. Last year, Virgin Holidays produced a video highlighting the treatment that LGBT couples often face when travelling. But Virgin Holidays’ commitment to inclusion isn’t only for their customers but for their staff too. We caught up with Pauline Wilson, VP – Operations at Virgin Holidays, to find out more… Why is it important that the Virgin Holidays team is a diverse range of people? At Virgin Holidays we understand the business case for diversity and inclusion, we understand a more diverse workforce drives greater innovation and creativity and it’s just the right thing to do. More than ever, businesses need diversity of backgrounds, life experiences and viewpoints at every level of management (Forbes, 2017)….

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Virgin Atlantic celebrates India’s landmark gay sex ruling

Virgin Atlantic has become the first company in India to feature an LGBT couple in its advertising following the country’s Supreme Court ruling that gay sex is no longer a criminal offence. The airline, known for its bold ads, has been a long-term champion of LGBT friendly tourism and plays an active role in Pride events across the UK and US. With the ruling on Section 377 decriminalising gay sex, it was the perfect chance to celebrate LGBT couples in India. The new adverts will appear from today (September 26th) across websites, social media and radio. The new ad is part of the new Virgin Atlantic brand campaign – ‘Depart the everyday’ – which brings to life an extraordinary experience that customers can have above the clouds. The campaign includes some ‘hyper-real’ fantastical imagery, including a shot of a lesbian couple snuggling in their seat.

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Ryan Reynolds, my new business partner?

I sat down in the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, feeling nice and relaxed ahead of a long flight, and looking forward to meeting up with Ryan Reynolds. I knew that Virgin Atlantic had an exclusive partnership with Aviation American Gin, which Ryan owns. What I didn’t know is that Ryan thought we had an even bigger partnership…

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Richard Branson (@richardbranson) on Sep 25, 2018 at 5:03am PDT

You’ll have to watch the video above to see what happened when I met up with (B)Ryan, and what we have planned with Virgin Atlantic and Aviation Gin. He was a bit nervous; he’s new to this entrepreneur business, so I gave him a little advice. But, Ryan, Avia-Virgin-ation? It’s not going to happen…

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Chef Dogs Make Pies: Funny Dogs Maymo & Potpie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLo2aAkAITc
Chef Dogs Make Pies: Funny Dogs Maymo & Potpie
To use this video in a commercial player, advertising or in broadcasts, email Brave Bison: licensing@bravebison.io Subscribe! http://bit.ly/VzYUvE
Maymo's Instagram: http://goo.gl/1MrHRh
Maymo's Facebook: http://on.fb.me/UPC8d7
Maymo's Twitter: http://bit.ly/Wk4dxX Watch funny chef dogs Maymo & Potpie as they kick off the fall season by making apple & pumpkin pies! These two beagle dogs don't waste a chance to taste the ingredients as they put the recipe together – and then sharing their tasty creation with their beagle sister Penny! #cooking #pie #funnydogs #tutorial #funny #fall #chef #perrococinero #perrococinando Music: "Winds of Spring" by The 126ers and "Argentina Tango Bandonian" by Doug Maxwell …

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Commemorating with the Kodiak Queen

On September 7th The Kodiak Queen documentary was released – commemorating the first anniversary of Hurricane Irma. Thanks to the remarkable team at Virgin, Richard Branson and the Maverick 1000 entrepreneurial group, our short film has already been seen around the world. To date it has been viewed by people in fifty-one regions, from America to Australasia – people have been watching in their thousands. This is an audience we could only have wished for and as the views have gone up, I’ve been thinking back to the start of my Kodiak Queen journey and can’t quite believe the events that have led to this moment.

Image: Kodiak Queen

In January 2017, out of the blue, I received an email from Owen Buggy. I didn’t know Owen at the time and he explained that he had found a ship in the British Virgin Islands…

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Giant Strawberry Pranks Dogs with Strawberry: Funny Dogs Maymo, Penny, & Potpie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vG_rv_upo3Y
Large Strawberry made by Jumbo Jibbles: https://jumbojibbles.com/
Giant Strawberry Pranks Dogs: Funny Dogs Maymo, Penny, & Potpie
To use this video in a commercial player, advertising or in broadcasts, email Brave Bison: licensing@bravebison.io Subscribe! http://bit.ly/VzYUvE
Maymo's Instagram: http://goo.gl/1MrHRh
Maymo's Facebook: http://on.fb.me/UPC8d7
Maymo's Twitter: http://bit.ly/Wk4dxX Watch funny dogs Maymo, Penny & Potpie get pranked by a giant Strawberry Mascot! these three cute beagle dogs are sitting on the couch (dressed like strawberries) when their peaceful day is interrupted by a giant swinging strawberry on a string. When they explore to see who's controlling the string, things get wild! #funnydogs #prank #mascot #cachorro #engraçado #मजेदार #कुत्तेकी Music:
"Dub Spirit" by Jingle Punks, "Rodeo Show" by the Green Orbs and "Move Out" by MK2 …

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Every day is the day to ask – Are you OK?

Supporting one another through life’s ups and downs is something we all need to do.  The R U OK? campaign encourages everyone to act when we they see signs that someone’s struggling, notice changes or just feel that something’s not quite right with a friend, loved one, a colleague or a team mate. We don’t need to have all the answers if someone says they are not ok, but we can listen, let them know we care, and start a meaningful conversation that might change a life.  Virgin Australia is proud to be an official partner of this powerful initiative – showing that every day is the day to ask, ‘Are you OK?’. 

Image from Virgin Australia

R U OK? is hitting the road on a six-week Conversation Convoy – travelling 14,000 km and visiting 25 communities to show Australians that every day is the day…

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Dogs vs Dancing Flower Man Prank: Funny Dogs Maymo & Potpie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4Or0cwj8Y0
Dogs vs Dancing Flower Man Prank: Funny Dogs Maymo & Potpie
To use this video in a commercial player, advertising or in broadcasts, email Brave Bison: licensing@bravebison.io Subscribe! http://bit.ly/VzYUvE
Maymo's Instagram: http://goo.gl/1MrHRh
Maymo's Facebook: http://on.fb.me/UPC8d7
Maymo's Twitter: http://bit.ly/Wk4dxX Watch funny dogs Maymo & Potpie get pranked by a chubby dancing flower man in a fat suit. These two cute beagle dogs are surprised to find a room full of giant flowers in their dining room…but the real fun begins when a 'flower' man in a fat suit shows up to dance with them! #danceparty #funnydogs #weird #dancingdog #कुत्तेकी #कुत्ता #नृत्य #dançando #cachorros Music: "Hidden Agenda" and "Greko Sketch" by Kevin MacLeod are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1200102
Artist: http://incompetech.com/ …

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The toughest, most rewarding challenge of my life

Help, my kids are trying to kill me! We’re having the toughest, most rewarding time of our lives on the Virgin Strive Challenge. Tomorrow, we are starting at 5am. We’ve got 155km to cover in a day. On that same day we will be biking half the height of Everest – 4500 metres. The first thousand metres are essentially straight up, as we climb up and up to start the hike across the mountains the following day. I’m told it will be one of the most stunning and challenging hikes in the world. The scenery is astoundingly beautiful, from Roman forts to picturesque vistas – but the climbs just keep coming.

Image by Adam Slama

What’s now been interesting to me on this Challenge is to see the difference in what my body is capable of compared to two years ago. Before the last Virgin…

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My top tips on how to break down barriers

I’m often asked why inclusion is so important to business and the best ways to foster a happy, inclusive, productive culture. In our latest Spotlight Series on Virgin.com, Breaking Barriers, we are looking at how people fulfil their work and career potential. We’re sharing how we’re trying to do things differently across the Virgin Group, and getting inspiration from what other companies are doing.

Image from Virgin.com

Here are my top tips on how to break down barriers at work: 1.            Include everyone The aim of inclusion is to embrace all people. It is about giving equal access and opportunities, moving from tolerance to acceptance, overcoming biases and getting rid of discrimination. Essentially it is about letting everyone be themselves and valuing them. I’m proud of Virgin Holidays’ campaigns standing up for the LGBT+ community and Virgin Media’s Work With Me campaign which aims…

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Dogs vs Annoying Hamster: Funny Dogs Maymo & Potpie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MPuF6D8CmY
Hamster Critter made by: http://overstuft.com/
Dogs vs Annoying Hamster: Funny Dogs Maymo & Potpie
To use this video in a commercial player, advertising or in broadcasts, email Brave Bison: licensing@bravebison.io Subscribe! http://bit.ly/VzYUvE
Maymo's Instagram: http://goo.gl/1MrHRh
Maymo's Facebook: http://on.fb.me/UPC8d7
Maymo's Twitter: http://bit.ly/Wk4dxX Watch funny dogs Maymo & Potpie get pranked by an annoying hamster! This crazy creature interrupts video games, ruins Maymo's recipes and rips down curtains! Watch how these cute beagle dogs react to the annoying rodent! #funnydogs #prank #gaming #hamster #videogame #creature #pranks #dogs Music:
"AI 2" by Vibe Mountain, "Dangerous" by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100414,
and "Fun Activity Montage" by Biz Baz Studio
Artist: http://incompetech.com/ …

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How Virgin Voyages is working to be the cleanest fleet at sea

Virgin Voyages is on a mission to make the world a better place in everything they do. “We are committed to having one of the cleanest fleets at sea,” Tom McAlpin, Virgin Voyages’ President and CEO said. “Which is why we are committed to creating the right partnerships to help make our ships as ocean-friendly as possible.” One of the partnerships that Virgin Voyages has formed is with Sweden-based Climeon, aiming to majorly reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by converting the heat from the ship’s engines into electricity. One Climeon unit can produce enough energy to power 250 normal households and each Virgin Voyages ship will have six units, giving it the potential to power about 1,500 households. This will provide not only power for the cabins and suites but also the onboard restaurants, casino and other venues.

Image from Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages…

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From The Rebel Billionaire to a $56 million IPO

Many years ago, on a TV show called The Rebel Billionaire, I offered an entrepreneur a choice: take a cheque for $1 million – or toss a coin to double their money, or lose it all.

Image from Shawn Nelson

The person I gave that choice to was Shawn Nelson, who is the founder of modern furniture company Lovesac. He wisely took the money. It has been a rollercoaster ride for him since, going from the brink of losing everything to raising $56 million in Lovesac’s recent IPO.

Image from Getty Images

There’s plenty of lessons to be learned from Shawn’s story. But none more so than the value of perseverance. Show me an entrepreneur who says they have never failed and I will show you a liar. We all fail – that is what…

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Getting ready for the Virgin Strive Challenge 2018

We’re about to start the Virgin Strive Challenge and I’ve been training hard over the past few months to get in shape.

Image from the Branson Family

The challenge is the most adventurous yet, with a route that will see us cycling and sea kayaking across Sardinia, hiking across Corsica, cycling and hiking across France and finishing by climbing up Europe’s tallest mountain, Mont Blanc. One of my favourite things about the Virgin Strive Challenge is meeting lots of different people from all walks of life who all want to create positive change – it makes it easier to keep trekking up that mountain when the conversation is inspiring.

Image from Adam Slama

We’ve all come together to strive for Big Change, the social impact accelerator co-founded by my children, which helps young people thrive in…

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Dogs vs Bowling Prank: Funny Dogs Maymo, Potpie & Penny

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjVqtvpdJlw
Dogs vs Bowling Prank: Funny Dogs Maymo, Potpie & Penny
To use this video in a commercial player, advertising or in broadcasts, email Brave Bison (licensing@bravebison.io) Subscribe! http://bit.ly/VzYUvE
Maymo's Instagram: http://goo.gl/1MrHRh
Maymo's Facebook: http://on.fb.me/UPC8d7
Maymo's Twitter: http://bit.ly/Wk4dxX Watch funny dogs Maymo, Potpie & Penny get pranked by a giant bowling pin! These dogs are having fun using their inflatable bowling set when an unexpected visitor drops in and surprises the cute beagle dogs. Watch the dogs dance with the giant bowling pin mascot man, then attack him and send him out the door (literally!). #funnydogs #prank #funnyprank #bowling #mascot Music: "Almost August" by Dan Lebowitz and "Skuba Drive" by Quincas Moreira …

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Reopening Necker Island with the Extreme Tech Challenge

Delighted that Necker Island will soon be open again as we continue the recovery from Hurricane Irma. I’m looking forward to welcoming our first guests of 2018 back to Necker – the Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC).

Image from XTC

The XTC finals were due to take place earlier this year, but the team moved the dates so they could still hold the event on Necker. The final will take place on October 19th, and I’m proud to be helping to judge the winner again. This year’s finalists have already got through three stages to reach Necker, winning through a nerve-wracking public pitch at CES, the world’s biggest technology trade show in Las Vegas. They are:  Power Ledger a blockchain-based peer-to-peer energy trading platform from Perth, Australia; Owlet Baby Care, a healthcare platform and baby monitoring system from the Utah; and Revl, a smart action,…

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Chef Dogs Cook Chicken Noodle Soup: Funny Dogs Maymo & Potpie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfBkMh4D7_M
Chef Dogs Cook Chicken Noodle Soup: Funny Dogs Maymo & Potpie
To use this video in a commercial player, advertising or in broadcasts, email Brave Bison (licensing@bravebison.io) Subscribe! http://bit.ly/VzYUvE
Maymo's Instagram: http://goo.gl/1MrHRh
Maymo's Facebook: http://on.fb.me/UPC8d7
Maymo's Twitter: http://bit.ly/Wk4dxX Watch funny chef dogs Maymo & Potpie cook chicken noodle soup for Penny! These two cute beagle dogs make a perfect duo in the kitchen – dicing up veggies and taste-testing their soup recipe until it's perfect! Wait til the end to watch them serve it to their 'sick' friend, Penny! #cooking #recipe #funnydogs #tutorial #funnydog #chef Music: "Mr. Sunny Face" by Wayne Jones …

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