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Make a start and everyone's better off

  • Virgin Money to join Kew Gardens Bank Holiday event

Virgin Money is to showcase its Promise Tree at the Start event at Kew Gardens, from 25 to 29 August.

Start and Virgin Money have joined with a host of other partners, to inspire people to take simple steps towards sustainable living.

Using the environment of Kew and its connection with the natural world, Start@Kew is an interactive eco-extravaganza of entertainment, activities and exhibits which offers simple, sustainable living ideas that people can put into practice.

Situated at the heart of the event, Virgin Money has created four interactive modules made out of recycled and reclaimed materials – ‘the Forest of Found Objects’. The four modules: home, garden, travel and shopping, provide information on how sustainable lifestyle choices relate to each category and how making simple steps can save consumers’ money. These simple steps can range from purchasing a compost bin, cycling instead of driving or using a watering can instead of a hose, saving both energy and money.

The Forest of Found objects has already appeared at the Bath and West Show, Royal Highlands Show, Royal Welsh and Great Yorkshire shows, with close to ¾ of a million people taking in the exhibition during its tour of the country.

Virgin Money is hoping to inspire people to change their routine and make a promise towards sustainable living.

Grant Bather from Virgin Money says “Research has shown that people in the UK do not like discussing climate change, and a great many of us are confused about how we can make a difference. We are working with Start to help explain the big issues without jargon, to show what can be achieved and to show how living sustainably can deliver a big benefit in people’s pockets.

”Through simple changes to daily life, such as composting food waste people can make a real difference.”

The Virgin Money stand will also include the Virgin Money Promise Tree. This Promise Tree will hold written pledges made by visitors of Start@Kew and various agricultural shows across the country. As the pledges are hung from the tree, it will appear to blossom. Standing over six metres tall the Promise Tree received over 3,000 pledges last year while at Marlborough House. Visitors were urged to write a commitment to sustainable living that they would agree to carry out.

Start@ Kew takes place from 25-29 August 2011. Tickets are priced £13.90 for adults, £11.90 concessions and children go free. Tickets are available from


For further information
Grant Bather
Virgin Money
Tel: 07834 844 427
Kevan Reilly/Chris Jarvis, Toby Clark
Citigate Dewe Rogerson 
Tel: 0207 638 9571

About Virgin Money:

  • Virgin Money is Virgin’s financial services arm and was established in 1995 as a joint venture between the Virgin Group and Norwich Union.
  • In 1997, Virgin Direct Personal Financial Services Limited launched The Virgin One Account, a joint venture with The Royal Bank of Scotland that offered the UK’s first current account mortgage direct to the retail market. In 2001, RBS bought out the Virgin Group’s stake in the joint venture.
  • Following an investment of £100m of new capital by WL Ross in April 2010, Virgin Money is 79% owned by Virgin Group, with 21% ownership by WL Ross.
  • Virgin Money currently has over 3 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. To apply go to
  • Virgin Money’s business 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 is the official sponsor of the London Marathon, the biggest annual fundraising event in the world. Virgin Money, the banking division of the Virgin Group leads 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.
  • Virgin Money has signed a three-year deal to be the official sponsor of Edinburgh’s ‘Fringe on the High Street’. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2011 runs from 05-29 August. Tickets and information are available at