The Importance of Community Spirit.
Article originally posted on Virgin Limited Edition website.
Making a difference where it is most needed
For 20 years, supporting its people and the communities in which it works has been at the heart of the Virgin Limited Edition philosophy and that has never been so important as right now.
Together with Virgin Group’s charity arm, Virgin Unite, and its own respective charities, Virgin Limited Edition has always supported some of the most vulnerable communities in which it operates; but right now this mission is more important than ever.
With locations that surround some of the poorest communities of South Africa, Berber villages in the rural High Atlas Mountains of Morocco and the remote British Virgin Islands, vital support during this pandemic is critical for those that typically rely on tourism as one of the main sectors of employment.
Jon Brown, Managing Director for Virgin Limited Edition commented “I couldn’t be prouder [sic] right now of the truly incredible work our teams on the ground are doing to support some of the most vulnerable. We are all more than aware of how much this pandemic has impacted our own lives, businesses, family and friends, but for some of those communities in which we operate, it really is a matter of survival.
“From the moment realisation set in that COVID-19 was going to have devastating effects across the globe, we have worked simultaneously with Virgin Unite to provide vital support for those who most need it. Together we have been able to provide much needed funding to all of the communities across our properties to help distribute essential medical supplies and PPE, food and care packages, and education. I cannot express how grateful my teams and I are to Virgin Unite for their dedication and further support during this time – and to our loyal guests who take it upon themselves to support these communities.
“What I am truly most humbled by is that through this work, those communities are in turn doing the most wonderful things. The incredible people that form the Eve Branson Foundation, our charity arm of Kasbah Tamadot, are now adapting their sewing skills to make face masks for their local communities – in a country where it is now mandatory to wear one. This is in addition to providing food support and PPE to the community, local doctor and birth centre. Similarly, we are supporting collaborative response efforts in the local communities of Franschhoek, South Africa close to Mont Rochelle, which are providing food and masks to volunteers and Police Services. Our Pride ‘n Purpose charity arm of Ulusaba Private Game Reserve in South Africa has now pulled together a community support group which is distributing waterless hand sanitizer, innovating hand wash stations from recycled material and providing virus-related education for vulnerable groups including the elderly, disabled learners, orphanages, school children and their teachers and families. And in the BVI’s where Unite BVI has always prided itself on support for entrepreneurship and those who wish to use their business for good, it has now enabled a local gin distillery to turn its production into hand sanitiser. They are also working with partners to deliver home education and online activity programmes, expand their entrepreneurial support, and provide greatly needed risk mitigation and medical response supplies.
“At our properties where we have on-site nurses and purpose-built clinics, we have ensured these are continuing to operate to support our staff and the local communities. As all of these initiatives come together during these times of crisis, we go back to the heart of what Virgin Limited Edition really stands for and are proud to be part of the Virgin family.”
Virgin Limited Edition was formed in 2000 with the launch of Ulusaba Private Game Reserve and Necker Island, and just three years later Pride ‘n Purpose was created to help disadvantaged families who border the Sabi Sand. Only two years later, the group purchased Kasbah Tamadot and fell in love with the local Berber village, setting up the much-loved Eve Branson Foundation dedicated to enhancing living standards of the local village and surrounding areas. Today, this philosophy is very much at the core of all of its properties.