SOCIAL WORK – SOCIAL WORK – COUNSELLING
Tina trained in social work in London and worked for ten years specialising in Child Protection and Mental health. In 1998 she visited the Caribbean with Lifeline Church and fell in love with Dominica and Harry, who she married later married. Tina and Harry now live in Dominica with their two children. Here, Tina worked as a psychiatric Social Worker, developing a community psychiatry model until 2001 when she left the Ministry of Health to develop the NGO, Lifeline Ministries, and to study for a Masters in Counselling.
Tina’s passion is for children to enjoy their right to be safe, strong and free. She has a vision where everyone can access food, housing, education and healthcare, regardless of income, race, gender or religion. She aims to facilitate communities where victims can come, broken, and transition to survivor, to advocate, to champion. She says ‘We can “be there” with people in their pain, their grief and their challenges and stand with them sharing what we have without creating dependency.’ With her work, she aims to create a presence in Dominica, standing up for integrity in project management, compassion for those traditionally rejected such as those living with disabilities sexually transmitted diseases and mental illness, and justice in particular for those who experience abuse and exploitation.
Involvement with LNI
Tina became connected with John Singleton, the founder and Chair of Lifeline Network, in 1980 when she joined Lifeline Church. Tina describes being part of the Network: ‘The sense of real shared life is key… a committed reliable caring context for holistic development… a safe place to make mistakes and get up… a context to be creative… distance makes no difference and being committed elsewhere simply builds on the foundation. It is in our DNA. The global connections where others have also caught this way of living are instant and precious. Harry and I see ourselves as an integral part of the network: in relationship with other individuals across the globe who share our values”.
Lifeline Ministries Dominica is a registered NGO that provides counselling and project development services to other NGOs and community based groups, including churches who want to develop community projects. They provide support groups for those who have experienced abuse and sexual assault and also have trained volunteers and police officers to help victims survive the reporting process and to be effective witnesses in court. Lifeline Ministries run a scholarship scheme for children facing challenges including HIV and disability and facilitate them with books and fares. For those with special needs, supervised transportation with the Dial A Ride Bus service is provided. Through the Cancer Society they are meeting and supporting people diagnosed with cancer and their families. Lifeline has recently collaborated with the Catholic Retreat house to offer therapeutic Bereavement Recovery Workshops using painting, music and prayer to help people celebrate the lives of those they have lost.