Strive2Thrive 2016

Today sees our Strive2Thrive event begin in Newcastle; an event that supports our local communities through education and experience. At Virgin Money, our ambition is to build a better kind of bank, one which aims to make ‘Everybody Better Off’ or EBO as we say. It was out of this ambition that Strive2Thrive was born.

Finding innovative and imaginative ways to use business as a force for good is at the heart of our culture as we strive to help create a better tomorrow. In 2015, Virgin Money was proud to be able to support the development of a new group of apprentices through our Future Bankers Academy. It was from this that the idea of extending support beyond our own new starters was born, and we wondered how we could make a better tomorrow for others in the community.

We started to reach out to local schools and councils to support those students moving on from education to a career; a move that can be both daunting and challenging. Strive2Thrive was created, with a pilot that summer in partnership with Newcastle council, several local employers and two local high schools. During a three day workshop around twenty 14-16 year olds got some new perspective on what success after school could really look like. The programme was balanced around understanding what they may be happiest doing, where this could be and how to get that great job, as well as taking care of themselves after leaving school.

Strive2Thrive Workshop output

During this event the group learnt about how business work, who does what, and how the things they love doing can help them understand what work they could enjoy most. They also explored how working on their mindset is just as important as building their skills. After learning how to write a brilliant CV, and taking one away with them to work on, practicing interviews with volunteers from Virgin Money and other businesses, learning about how role models built their careers, understanding more about finance management and finally a session on Physical Wellbeing from Virgin Active, the students left feeling exhausted but proud of their achievements.

Volunteers from Virgin Money and other local businesses came together to provide the knowledge and teachings given throughout the day, all of whom left feeling as though they had gained, as well as given, a lot.

After the success of the event, we felt confident that the programme could be adapted to help anyone who may find accessing work challenging to build their self-awareness, improve their confidence and develop employability and life skills. In 2016 we ran a version of the event for a group of individuals who have left or are leaving the armed forces, as well as adapting the content into a mini one day event for some young adults facing life challenges, who came to us through the Virgin Money Foundation.

We believe in the power of true relationships and doing the right thing, so sharing what we have learnt through our own experiences and careers should be passed on to benefit others. We are really looking forward to seeing what today brings, and the outcome of this event for both the attendees and the volunteers.

If you’re interested in supporting future programs as a volunteer please contact us at


About Ian Humphreys