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Pledge to 'make a difference' with Virgin Money

Lets Start something good

Virgin Money launch Pledge Tree at The Prince of Wales ‘A Garden Party to Make a Difference’

Virgin Money, the banking division of the Virgin Group is proud to be partnering with The Prince’s Charities Foundation to promote and celebrate sustainable living at the Start Festival, ‘A Garden Party to Make a Difference’.

The Start festival will be held in the Gardens of Clarence House, Lancaster House and Marlborough House from 8 to 19 September, 10am to 6pm daily and is a collaboration between The Prince's Charities, leading businesses, other charitable and not-for-profit organisations.

The event aims to give people of all ages a fun day out while at the same time, via the exhibits, demonstrate the small steps that can be taken by everyone to create a more sustainable future.

As part of the festival, Virgin Money has created a Pledge Tree in Marlborough House Gardens where visitors can make a pledge about what they have been inspired to start doing as a result of the festival. Pledges could be as simple as a commitment to cycle to work, use energy saving light bulbs, insulate the loft or turn the tap off when brushing your teeth.

Virginmoneygiving.com, the online fundraising website from Virgin Money will also have an exhibit which aims to inspire people to ”Start fundraising for good causes” and “Start giving just a little extra to charity”.

There will be live fundraising events at the Virgin Money Giving exhibit including runners attempting to complete a marathon each day and a pianist playing The Beatles entire catalogue of songs non-stop throughout the festival. The aim is to inspire visitors to take part in their own fundraising activities or to consider regularly donating money to charity.

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chief executive of Virgin Money said: “We’re very proud to be supporting Start. The aim of the festival is to show everyone that making just a few small changes to the way we live today could make a big difference in the long run. We’re fully behind Start and we're working on ways we can help inspire consumers to make a change as part of our ambition to make everyone better off.”

As well as Virgin Money’s Pledge Tree and virginmoneygiving.com fundraising stand, there will be lots for visitors to see and do to get inspired including a people-powered dance floor, cookery demonstrations, up-cycling fashion workshops, eco-car displays, celebrity chefs, debates and readings, farmers’ market, children’s gardens, musicians, comedy and much more.

Tickets, priced £15 for adults and £7.50 for children are on sale now. Full details are available on the Garden Party website

For more information on Start, please visit: www.startuk.org

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For further information

Scott Mowbray, Head of PR, Virgin Money
Tel: +44(0)7834 843384

scott.mowbray@virginmoney.com

About Virgin Money:

Virgin Money is Virgin’s financial services arm and was established in 1995.

Virgin Money currently has over 2.5 million customers and offers Payment Cards (Credit Cards & Prepaid Cards), Savings and Investment products (Stakeholder Pensions, Children’s Pensions, Employers Pensions, FTSE Tracker ISA, Bond & Gilt ISA, Climate Change ISA, Cash ISA, and Unit Trusts), General Insurance products (Motor, Home, Travel, and Pet) and Life Assurance products to the UK market.

Virgin Money’s brand ambition is to make “everyone better off” – this philosophy underpins our approach to business by offering good value to customers, treating employees well, making a positive contribution to society and delivering a profit to shareholders.

Virgin has signed a five-year deal to be the official sponsor of the London Marathon, the biggest annual fundraising event in the world. The inaugural Virgin London Marathon was on 25 April 2010. The 2011 Virgin London Marathon is to be held on 17 April 2011. Virgin Money, the financial services division of the Virgin Group is leading the London Marathon sponsorship with the ambition to help runners raise £¼ billion over 5 years and will use its infrastructure, online capability and financial expertise to deliver that through Virgin Money Giving.

About virginmoneygiving.com:

Virgin Money Giving is the not-for-profit online fundraising arm of Virgin Money and was established in 2009. Virgin Money uses its infrastructure and expertise as a financial services business to ensure that Virgin Money Giving is efficient, secure and offers a high quality service to all fundraisers, charities and donors.

Virginmoneygiving.com, which is backed by hundreds of major charities, officially opened to all fundraisers for all charity events on 14 October 2009 and estimates it will deliver an extra £5 million on top of every £100 million raised for charities.

Virginmoneygiving.com is free for fundraisers, charges a flat £100 + VAT registration fee for charities and a 2% fee on all donations before Gift Aid which means for every £10 raised, charities receive £12.46.

Virgin Money Giving charges charities the minimum fees needed to cover the running costs of the site. Any money left over after covering operating costs will go towards reducing fees further or improving services for fundraisers and charities.

About Start

Start is a Public/Private/NGO partnership which has been created in response to research which shows that when it comes to dealing with issues like climate change and sustainability, people are confused and are looking for information and advice. It is all about exploring what is possible: from the cheapest and simplest to the most complex and futuristic; from quick fixes to long-term solutions. So far, a number of leading businesses have signed up to the initiative including B&Q, Virgin Money, Marks and Spencer, Asda, EDF Energy, Addison Lee, IBM UK & Ireland and BT Group plc.