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Beauty with a Purpose

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Miss World BVI Sasha Wintz joined forces with Gumption’s Tour BVI last Sunday, taking a group of special needs students on a glass bottom boat tour to promote Autism Awareness within the BVI community, and meeting one of the world's most powerful people on the way!

April is Autism Awareness Month, and the Miss World BVI (MWBVI) committee have said that the partnership is a proactive approach helping to raise awareness but also to help integrate special needs children into the wider society.

Gumption’s Tours reached out to MWBVI after reading an article about the ‘Beauty with a Purpose’ initiative central to MWBVI and Miss World globally.

The children, from the Eslyn Henley Richiez Learning Centre, were taken out on a tour of the reefs off Virgin Gorda, seeing up close the majestic marine life of the islands. Director of Special Education Services, Charisse Bynoe-Thomas, who also accompanied the children, was full of praise for Sasha and Gumption’s Tours, and was especially thankful for their vocal supporting pushing the Ministry of Education’s agenda of inclusion.

A highlight of the trip was the unplanned meeting with Sir Richard Branson, who willing welcomed the group to his private residence on Necker Island.

Sir Richard eagerly took the opportunity to give a motivational talk to the students, where he told them, “There are special people, which most people are, and then there are Dyslexics, which I am, and I’d like to think I’m special.”

He said as Autistic people, they are very special, “And we just see things differently than other people. Some things we see much clearer and some things we see less clear, but I think if we concentrate on the things we see clearer, then we’ll have the most incredible lives…”

Sir Richard added, “And we are blessed. Now I know it doesn’t feel like that sometimes, but I think we should be proud of being special and feel lucky that we are all special.”

The Miss World BVI Committee said the trip would not have been the success it was without the support of partners such as Gumption’s Tour and Speedy’s Ferry Services, in addition to Village Cay Restaurant, D Best Cup and Island Vybz Restaurant, who prepared breakfast and lunch for the children.


Special Features

Each week, BWP will present a new in-depth report on one of the many charity projects worldwide that has benefitted from the work of Julia Morley and the support of Beauty with a Purpose. Keep watching this space for more details on these special features.



Julia Morley



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