Looking back at 2014 - what a year!

13th January 2015

Happy New Year! I’m now in my second week back after a lovely Christmas break, during which I reflected back on the highs and lows of 2014…it was a good excuse to stay a moment longer on the sofa and eat another Terry’s Chocolate Orange!

There were some outstanding moments for me in 2014 and I’d like to share some of the best bits with you, before it slips into distant to memory as we dive headfirst into 2015.

We were the official partner…of two fantastic events; the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Swansea International Paralympic Committee (IPC) European Championships. For the IPC Championships we were thrilled that our award-winning customer service team from Swansea trained and inspired 450 Championships Volunteers, while in Glasgow we all got behind leaving a lasting legacy that would inspire young people, boost inclusion and support businesses.

At Virgin Media we have been exploring the possibilities of connected entertainment for some time and are very excited to unveil KipstR. With emerging new technologies, it is possible to create almost anything, such as emotionally intelligent entertainment systems that can suggest shows based on your moods, or even harnessing brainwaves to control your television.

To find out more about KipstR, Jonathan and Ryan, click here.

We created…Switched on Families and Switched on Futures; two programmes that help people get from the best from the web while staying safe:

Switched on Families launched with information for parents (created by families) on all the big digital issues like who to trust, digital addition, what to share, and how to play nice online. We also commissioned a ground-breaking piece of research with the Oxford Internet Institute to better understand how children can get the best from the online world. This research showed that the most effective means of protecting children online is to increase their resilience, not to just use blockers and filters.

Switched on Futures was launched in the wake of the Commonwealth Games as our legacy programme. We created a team of digital coaches to deliver digital skills to hard-to-reach people across the city and built a fully-equipped ‘Digital Making Space’, where young people learn digital skills, such as coding.

We continued to work with…Richard Whitehead, the Paralympian and Virgin Media brand ambassador, on our efforts to improve the accessibility of our products and services. Richard’s involvement continues to super charge our accessibility programmes today as we look to engage staff and customers with all that we’re up to. He also continues to try to supercharge my jogging routine!

We won….a number of great awards. My personal favourites have to be our fantastic apprentice programme being awarded a Top 100 Apprentice Employer Award and our Facilities Team winning Improved Data Centre Energy Efficiency Award for their ‘Project Red to Green’ initiative; an internal project that has achieved an incredible annual saving of 8,000 tonnes of carbon and nearly £1.4m in energy savings.

We reported…on sustainability with Liberty Global, our parent company, for the first time. This involved aligning our data collection to match the wider group activity. While this was a big piece of work it was reassuring and satisfying to have our data reviewed and given a big thumbs-up.

We launched…a new SME offering through Virgin Media Business that’s designed specifically to meet the needs of small businesses. To support the launch of the SME offer a team from Virgin Media Business set off on a roadshow from Glasgow to Birmingham to Cardiff to share with SMEs the skills they need to get on.

Finally, 2014 saw changes to my team, with the arrival of Jenny, Rob and Amanda. Fresh faces and fresh ideas mean I know that 2015 is going to be even bigger and better than 2014.

As always we’d love to hear what you think – please drop us a line, we’d love to chat! sustainability@virginmedia.co.uk