Bermuda CableVision celebrates another local hero

Posted by on Jul 14, 2011 in Local News & Alerts | 0 comments

BERMUDA CableVision today honours Gina Spence for the commitment she has shown to local charities through over 30 years of dedicated voluntary service.

Ms. Spence’s community service centres around her own charity, Gina Spence Productions in Christ (GSPIC), which provides education and opportunity through performing arts. In addition, Ms. Spence has recently been devoted to a grassroots campaign to unite and support individuals and families in Bermuda in the wake of the escalating gun violence.

 Ms. Spence was honoured with the latest Bermuda CableVision Community Service Award for her endeavours at a ceremony held at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute this morning. The event was attended by Minister for Community Development, the Hon. Michael Weeks, JP, MP; Bermuda CableVision’s senior management team; along with Ms. Spence’s family and friends.

Ms. Spence founded GSPIC, a Christian-based non-profit organisation, in 1979 to provide performing arts – drama, dance, song and poetry – opportunities for talented and committed members of the local community, unable to pursue formal training. The charity has also provided a number of scholarships for young Bermudians studying overseas.

The original works performed by GSPIC deliver additional positive social impact by carrying important messages relating to community issues such as youth violence, family values, peer pressure and drug abuse. The charity often performs free of charge to the elderly, the sick, and those in Bermuda’s correctional facilities, to ensure that the messages reach each corner of the community. Over the last three decades, GSPIC has raised funds for countless charities including Prison Fellowship, Agape House and the Bermuda Divisional Headquarters of The
Salvation Army.

Ms. Spence has been focused on an additional community outreach programme over the last year following the tragic loss of her son-in-law, James “Junior” Lawes, in 2010 and her great-nephew, Randy Robinson, in March, to gun violence. Ms. Spence’s concern for the children left behind by the string of shootings when their parents were murdered led her to coordinate a submission to the Joint Select Committee containing a number of proposals to support those rocked by the violence, including a National Day of Healing, a Community Coalition and a Benevolent Fund. Some of the ideas contained in the paper have already come to fruition, such as the Patient Family Lounge at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital that was opened in January.

Gina Spence says: “I had a hard time growing up in foster care and I used the arts as my escape; this was my motivation for setting up a charity. I wanted to help others by offering them ways to express themselves creatively while producing something for the good of their community. I am proud that we have been able to give some limelight to the shining stars of Bermuda and support the personal development of a great number of truly talented individuals. I have hope for the future of Bermuda and I’m encouraged by the many organisations that are working together to dissipate the violence on the island. With concentrated and measured effort, I am confident that our community will become stronger.”

Minister of Community Development, the Hon. Michael Weeks, JP, MP, added: “Gina has used her initiative and found a way to tackle social issues using art as a teaching tool. To have founded her own charity and to still find more time and energy for additional projects is outstanding. Gina is an incredibly valuable asset to our community and thoroughly deserving of this award.”  

Terry Roberson, General Manager of Bermuda CableVision, comments: “Gina is well-known and familiar to many as a community activist and the voice of Bermuda’s everyday people, and with good reason. She has used the experience of her personal challenges and turned them into something good and progressive for this community. Gina is a lady with a heart of gold and I am delighted to present her with this Bermuda CableVision Community Service Award today.”

As part of the Community Service Award, Bermuda CableVision made a $1,000 donation towards Ms. Spence’s latest project to deliver two-day training workshops to help community members assist individuals in crisis. The training is targeted at parents, sports coaches, clergy members counsellors, care professionals and anyone else working in the community and interested in learning the fundamentals of individual crisis intervention required as a result of increased community unrest and antisocial behaviour. For more information, contact Gina on 333-4292 or email spencegina@yahoo.com.

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