The Rita Frett Georges Tea was created by Barnes PR to highlight the achievements of women in the Virgin Islands. Rita Frett Georges revolutionised the concept of mental health care as opposed to mental illness in the Virgin Islands with the collaboration of the BVI Mental Health Association. She developed a Community Mental Health Model for small states that was recognised by the Pan American Health Organisation and CAROM in 1982. Georges’ visionary work started the Women’s Desk in 1992 and is now known as the Office of Gender Affairs, which continues work in advocating for gender equality in the Virgin Islands.
With the use of traditional advertising on television and radio, mailing lists and connecting with persons wishing to support the achievements of women and equality, the funds raised through this event are used to support selected charities such as the Family Support Network and Non-Governmental Organisations. Some past honourees have included: first female doctor in the Virgin Islands, Dr Natalie Brewley; hotelier, Grace Flax Waters; educator and civil servant, Eugenie Todman Smith and community activist, Marlene Penn Trotman.
In an effort to introduce the Virgin Islands to Global Entrepreneurship Week and to support a region-wide conversation about entrepreneurship, Barnes PR accepted this two-fold challenge in 2013. As the host for Global Entrepreneurship Week Virgin Islands, BPR leveraged press relationships to speak on television and radio shows, as well as visiting Rotary and other community groups to discuss the economic and social importance of entrepreneurship.
Highlights of GEW VI included endorsement of the initiative and its activities by Premier and Minister of Finance of the Virgin Islands, Honourable Dr D. Orlando Smith, OBE; a symposium on the state of the Virgin Islands’ economy, led by business leaders in the territory and workshops and networking sessions for entrepreneurs.
In 2016, GEW VI will be in its fourth year and for previous years, Barnes PR has won the GEW UK High Impact Event Award in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and has contributed meaningfully to increased dialog on entrepreneurship in the Virgin Islands.