Sam Branson, Virgin

Sam Branson


United Kingdom

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Past articles by Sam:

Digging deep and striving in Morocco

We completed long and tiring days, waking up under the stars and setting off before sunrise, climbing mountains and mountain biking through valleys in 38 degree heat. The intense desert heat was unbearable at times, and the dusty conditions caused dry throats and sore eyes, but it was all worth it. The views were indescribable. Along the way we had the pleasure of meeting lots of the Berber… → Read More

It's time to end the death penalty

Last week my production company, Sundog Pictures, launched three films as part of a broader social media campaign to help end the death penalty for good. By using three different types of storytelling, a fast-paced animation, a real-life testimony documentary and visceral footage of an execution room, we have addressed many of the core issues at the heart of the death penalty debate. Our aim is… → Read More

Welcoming Virgin Radio back to the UK

Well in true Virgin style, this week we put on another incredible show while relaunching Virgin Radio UK. On an extended journey from Manchester to London Euston, we made history as the first ever national radio station to launch live from a moving train. But I’m not just talking about presenters and a pre-recorded show – the Virgin Radio team invited amazing artists to play live from the train… → Read More


Last week I heard the story of an inspiring man, Lewis Vaughan. Lewis is one of our long-standing Virgin Trains employees and has contributed years of invaluable passion and hard work to the company. On paper, Lewis is like any other amazing Virgin employee, but behind the scenes he is fighting a battle far bigger than most of us can imagine. Lewis has terminal cancer and has been given only… → Read More

We are all limitless

I love adventures. I love to push myself out of my comfort zone, learn about myself and feel the pride of accomplishing things people think I am incapable of. Getting older means I have grown as a person in lots of different ways, but one key area of growth is my belief in myself. That’s not to say it doesn’t waver at times – everyone’s does and it’s completely natural – but when it does, I am… → Read More

Are you up for the Virgin Strive Challenge 2016?

Stage 3: Cycle 2: (September 14th - 20th) The team have named this leg “Undiscovered Italy” for good reason, as we’re set to travel through some lesser known, beautiful countryside. With classic Giro climbs and a night on the Amalfi Coast at the end, I’m very much looking forward to this part of the journey. This is one for the intermediate cyclist. Stage 4: Cycle 3: (September 20th - 26th)… → Read More

Can you ever truly fail if you’re learning from your mistakes?

Despite having the best time, when I got back from my travels I was quite disillusioned by the world. I became very sensitive to the world’s sufferings, and affected by the negative stories I heard in the news and media. Despite having a naturally sociable and friendly disposition, I began to stick my head in the sand and shut off from really participating in the world. I just wanted to be… → Read More

Keep your goals to yourself

“Repeatedly, psychology tests have proven that telling someone your goal makes it less likely to happen.” – Derek Sivers As someone who is an obsessive goal-setter, I’ve learnt the hard way that you’re unlikely to reach your goals if you don’t actively pursue them in the right way. There... → Read More

My top moments of 2015 and my hopes for 2016

I can’t believe we’re coming to the end of 2015 already – it’s been quite the year. In a lot of ways I feel like the past 12 months have been some of my most important to date. I’ve learnt a lot, grown a lot as a person and feel that more than ever, I know who I am and what I want to achie... → Read More

Why I’ve got beef with eating beef

I’ve always been a big beef lover. In fact every birthday since I was 12 years old, I’ve enjoyed peppered steak and chips as my birthday supper treat – it’s my all-time favourite meal. Spending a lot of time growing up in the Caribbean, we only used to eat red meat as a treat because it was ... → Read More

A tribute to Jonah Lomu

This morning I heard the very sad news of my friend Jonah Lomu passing and felt compelled to write. Most famous for transforming the game of rugby, this man was a true warrior in every respect. I had the pleasure of spending a few months with him, travelling around Great Britain on the Channel 4 sho... → Read More

#staffreads: ex-prisoners employed as beekeepers

Last week I read the story of a young lad who was only nine years old when he started selling drugs, before living the next three decades in and out of prison. Sadly, this isn’t an uncommon scene in many countries, least America. In this particular case, Reggie Davis is based in Chicago’s North ... → Read More

Big goals. Big challenges. Big Change

Hey all you change makers out there! In the past few months, I’ve mentioned Big Change a lot, so thought it would be good to properly introduce what we do! It was originally set up three years ago by me, my sister Holly and a group of friends. Big Change is now a fully established organisation cre... → Read More

Bore off cancer!

The other day I was approached by a young clothing company and asked to support a new campaign they were launching.Entitled, Bore Off Cancer, the campaign’s message is clear; we’ve had enough of cancer. Lee McKervey founded Bore Off clothing, with the support of a Virgin StartUp loan and having ... → Read More

How a growth mindset is the only way to Strive

It’s no secret that I love adventures and challenging myself to achieve something out of my comfort zone (often dragging friends along for the ride). It’s part of the reasonthe VirginStriveChallengeis something I feel so passionately about – while we’re pushing ourselves tirelessly to comple... → Read More

How a growth mindset is the only way to Strive

It’s no secret that I love adventures and challenging myself to achieve something out of my comfort zone (often dragging friends along for the ride). It’s part of the reasonthe VirginStriveChallengeis something I feel so passionately about – while we’re pushing ourselves tirelessly to comple... → Read More

Rwanda: We will always remember. We will never forget.

I recentlywrote a blog called ‘Forgiveness and peace after genocide’. It was to introduce one of three short films created in memory of those who lost their lives during the genocide in Rwanda. The creation of the films was an incredibly emotional journey for all of us at Sundog Pictures, with R... → Read More

Dear future generations, sorry

"Sorry we left you with our mess of a planet, sorry that we were too caught up in our own doings to do something. Sorry we listened to people who made excuses to do nothing. I hope you forgive us, we just didn’t realise how special the earth was." By the end of today, 193 world leaders will have signed the Global Goals for Sustainable Development at the United Nations. This is huge. There are 17… → Read More

Forgiveness and peace after genocide

The Genocide in Rwanda saw more than one million people slaughtered in just 100 days. Devastation and hatred spread across the country, targeting people from the minority Tutsi community and any opponents – regardless of their ethnic origin. It was the kind of extreme destruction that saw whole fa... → Read More

Above and Beyond: dedication

Over the past four weeks, I’ve been sharing some amazing short documentaries that give an insight into the minds and worlds of some contagiously inspiring individuals. The last of which focuses onVictor Minibaev, a 23-year-old professional diver, who has his heart set on winning an Olympic gold me... → Read More