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Donna Collins

Donna Collins

Tell us something unique about yourself

In 2006 I was ready to start my adventure by going to university, however there were circumstances outside of my control which meant that path was no longer the right fit for me. I had a strong interest in sports, and with some coaching qualifications already under my belt, I decided to apply for a job at Virgin Active Gloucester as a Club V assistant. I got the job and soon started completing my Level 3 qualification in childcare. During my time there, I became more interested in how the commercial side of Club V operated, and so I started to build my knowledge of the business fundementals.

I have always been ambitious and the Richard Branson quote “If someone offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say Yes – then learn how to do it later” is definitely something that has inspired me to Dream Big. 14 years into my adventure with Virgin Active, I have worked in 5 clubs over a 10 year period and the last 4 years have been based at Head Office with 9 different roles along the way. Working my way up from the shop floor gave me a solid foundation and invaluable insights from a club perspective. Everything I have learned has helped me in my current role of Head of Family Experience where I am strategically leading the way for all of our Family Activity offerings.

When I reflect on my time at Virgin Active, the poem ‘The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost always springs to mind.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference”.

Sometimes taking the less obvious path, as I did starting at Virgin Active, can turn out to be the most amazing adventure.

Who are you at work?

I thrive in an environment where I can work as part of a team, bouncing ideas around and taking the opportunity to learn from my peers. I’m people focused and so enjoy nurturing my team’s potential, I like to think that I’m good at finding new talent by spotting that ‘spark’, it could be someone’s passion, dedication or work ethic - the VA DNA that makes them special. Helping someone achieve their goals, whether it’s in Family Activities world or elsewhere within the business, is always rewarding, as ultimately we are One Team.

I love a spreadsheet, working my way through budgets and finding new ways to creatively hit targets is my version of fun at work. Whether it’s personal or professional, if I set a goal I stick to it, and so motivating all of my team every month to reach their targets brings out my competitive edge!

What are your dreams for the future?

I’m very proud to say I work for Virgin Active, and I have loved every part of my journey so far, I want to continue my development and continue to progress, potentially becoming a future Director of Product or Projects.

I would love to own a house on the coast, anyone who knows me knows that I’m happiest in a pair of shorts in the great outdoors exploring and enjoying nature.

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