Unite BVI breaks ground on the new youth centre in Virgin Gorda

Unite BVI YEP Youth Centre
Richard Branson, Unite BVI, members of the BVI government and young people from the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) known as YEPpies, celebrate the ground-breaking for the new centre on Virgin Gorda.
Clare Kelly
by Clare Kelly
5 April 2024
The Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), with the support of Unite BVI, is taking its signature youth programming to Virgin Gorda, with a new YEP youth centre.

Over the past five years, YEP has implemented a series of pop-ups on Virgin Gorda, providing activities, learning opportunities and a safe environment to over 100 children. As demand from children and parents steadily grew, YEP began working with a variety of partners to establish a permanent presence on Virgin Gorda.

Unite BVI YEP Youth Centre
Richard Branson celebrates the ground-creaking of YEP's new youth centre on Virgin Gorda.

In early 2024, the BVI government completed its donation of a parcel of Crown land (on Handsome Bay near, Ciboney School). On 23 March, to celebrate the beginning of the centre’s construction, community members and dignitaries gathered to break ground on the new building site.

Richard Branson, who was in attendance, said, “It’s wonderful to see Unite BVI support the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) as it expands onto Virgin Gorda with a wonderful new youth centre. This will be a tremendous facility and provide exciting opportunities for the young people of Virgin Gorda and their surrounding communities. Cheers to all the people that made this possible, and to all who continue to work to make the BVI even more wonderful than it already is.”

Members of the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) celebrate the new youth centre's ground -breaking on Virgin Gorda.
Members of the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) celebrate the new youth centre's ground -breaking on Virgin Gorda.

The centre will be built by Unite BVI and a group of community donors on the land donated by the BVI government, with the project being warmly received by the surrounding communities and young people.

Stacy Mather, Executive Director of YEP said: “YEP’s expansion to Virgin Gorda shows how much we can accomplish when we all work together. We are thrilled to bring programming and opportunities to more children in the BVI, as they are our most important investment. As our plans move forward, we will be organising community meetings in Virgin Gorda to talk about our progress.”

Unite BVI YEP youth centre
The Executive Director of YEP, Hon. Stacy Mather, MBE and YEPpie, Azariah George celebrate the ground-breaking of the new Virgin Gorda youth centre.

In addition to YEP’s youth programming, the new building will also offer space to local non-profit organisations for community activities. Unite BVI and YEP have engaged Edwin Adams Architects to design the building and an advisory group of BVI community members to support YEP in implementing the youth centre’s activities.

Unite BVI YEP youth centre
Members of Unite BVI, YEP, the BVI government and funding partners take part in the ground-breaking of YEP's new Virgin Gorda youth centre.

Unite BVI continues to fundraise for completion of the facility and to cover programming costs for the first three years. Visit Unite BVI and YEP to learn more about the centre.