The business was launched in 2001 following a request from Nelson Mandela to Sir Richard Branson to take over the struggling Health and Racquet chain of health clubs.
The company is part of the Virgin Active Group, which has to 98 clubs and 620,000 customers.
A unique approach
naturally benefits people’s lives. Donating equipment to township gyms, schools, prisons, old people’s homes and organisations supporting young people, Virgin Active South Africa ensures that its product is accessible to people who would not be able to afford such a facility.
In this way, the business uses its assets to change people’s lives, taking the product to people in the heart of their communities.
They believe that giving back to the communities that their staff come from is a sustainable way of doing business.
What causes do they support?
The business supports three main charities: Virgin Unite, Afrika Tikkun, which provides education, health and social services to children, and their families through centres of excellence and Active Education, which promotes sport in schools.
Their focus with these charities covers three main areas: entrepreneurship, physical activity and children.
Work with Virgin Unite:
Kim Webster, former PR and Transformation Manager, Virgin Active South Africa, said:
“As a catalyst for social change, Virgin Unite has the ability to bring amazing partners and skills together, to come up with solutions to problems. They get the right people talking and doing.”
Virgin Active South Africa’s contribution to community development represents acollective investment of cash, time, stuff and goods to the value of R3 million.
They’ve set up Early Childhood Development Centres, creating opportunities for school children to be physically active, and helped many organisations to fundraise and meet the needs of their communities with food and clothes.
What staff and partners say:
Ross Faragher-Thomas, Managing Director, Virgin Active South Africa, said:
"We believe in the ability of our health clubs to be a positive influence in the communities in which they operate."