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Charity targets new space in 2023 to help expand services

Gina Spence, founder and CEO of Gina Spence Productions (file photograph)

A charity is targeting a bigger space next year to help boost its services to the community.

Gina Spence, founder and chief executive of Gina Spence Productions, said that the organisation could not offer large group therapy sessions from its Paget location.

She said: “We have an office space that can do one-on-one counselling or counselling for a very small group. A new location would allow us to incorporate everything that we do, including additional grief centres.

“For us, the ideal building would have office space, a training room and storage, because there are always items that are left over from our back-to-school and Christmas drives.”

The organisation’s grief recovery specialist Courtney Harrison said that a new location would allow for more counselling sessions.

She said: “I know that when people are dealing with multiple losses, there is already a lot going through their heads and sometimes the stress of not having enough parking or the office not being accessible or being amid the hustle and bustle can sometimes be deterrents to our services.

“Whereas, somewhere that is easier to get to and where people do not have to worry about exposure to other things or other people, I think would add to making our services easier to access and putting clients’ minds at ease.”

The organisation has presented the new building proposal to several other charities, churches, clubs and businesses since October and according to Dr Spence, the response has been “amazing”.

She said: “We sort of put our feet out there and asked ‘does the community need support in grief and loss?’ The answer was an astounding yes.”

Ms Spence also highlighted what sets the charity apart from others on the island.

“For us, it is like being out on a battlefield and being the person next to [grieving families] who will put a life raft around them and deliver that support system that will keep them going,” she said.

“We are there with the families when the casket goes into the ground and when that court case comes up with the person accused of killing their loved ones.

“Parents, coaches, primary schoolteachers and cub scout leaders need to be trained on how to help these children when they return [to their schools and clubs] and that is what we do.”

The charity’s Champions programme provides grief and trauma support to children and families who lost their loved ones to gun or gang violence, a road accident or illness and is working with 24 families affected by murder.

Ms Harrison has seen many people transformed through the Champions programme and counselling.

She said: “The grief recovery method has allowed people to let go of the pain, anger or whatever emotion they had associated the event to the point that they have encountered the person who had committed this act against their child and were able to greet them cordially, whereas before that was not the case.”

To learn more about or donate to the charity, visit ginaspenceproductions.com or call 296-0016.

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Published December 14, 2022 at 7:37 am (Updated December 14, 2022 at 7:37 am)

Charity targets new space in 2023 to help expand services

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