On Thursday, 3 December 2020 Governor Roper and Mrs. Roper visited The Bridge Foundation in Hell, West Bay. While on the property, the Governor and Mrs. Roper were able to meet the foundation's core team, who actively work on the compound and several participants who are currently in the programme. The group were able to sit down and discuss the extensive work that has been done since the non profit's inception 9 years ago.
Bud Volinksy, the Bridge's Executive Director and the core team took a moment to fully describe the work that the Bridge Foundation has been doing to reduce recidivism and relapse in the Cayman Islands. The team has been providing Caymanians in early recovery the opportunity to learn about the skills and resources needed to establish a strong footing on the solid ground of a robust sober recovery. With the overall goal of preparing our residents for their new lives as positive contributors to Cayman society.
The visit allowed the Governor and his wife the opportunity to learn about The Bridge Foundation's story and how it emerged out of a pursuit to inspire and support the recovery community through safe, secure supervised residential housing coupled with life skills training and positive behavior reinforcement based on the 12-step programme of recovery.
The team were able to share with the Governor and his wife one of the main goals of the Bridge Foundation is to bring Caymanians back into the fold of the community. To do this The Bridge Foundation partners with Beacon Farms. This partnership was formed as the foundation recognised that a big part of recovery is being able to offer individuals a way to make a living. As persons in the programme complete recovery milestones and goals, the foundation facilitates opportunities to advance economic security and job skills at the farm.
During the visit, Jack Mclean was also able to share his first hand experience with the programme and his own sober journey to becomming a contributing member of The Bridge Foundation's team. Jack explained "Being able to have the support and the tools that are given to you through this programme were life saving."
To complete the visit, the Governor and his wife were also able to meet participants who were active in the programme.The residents were appreciative to be able to speak with the Governor and his wife during their recovery, as each of them were able share their stories. A tour of the compound allowed the Governor and his wife to see the sober residence and the grounds; which includes a small gardening area, friendly goats and dogs as well.
The Bridge Foundation supports the first steps toward long term sobriety, independence and accountability by providing caring people and dedicated resources that increase the likelihood of a clean, sober and prosperous future for our participants.
Photo 1: Photo Caption: (From L-R) Emma Powell, Director's Executive Assistant; The Governor Martin Roper; Bud Volinsky,Executive Director; Jack McLean, Director/Operation Manager; Michael Gilson, Resident Manager and Mrs. Roper Photo 2: Bud Volinsky describes The Bridge Foundation's work in the community to reduce recidivism
Photo 3: Bud Volinksy shows the 12 Step programme to Mrs Roper
Photo 4: Beacon Farms, Breakers
Photo 5: (from L-R) The Governor, Michael Gilson and Jack Mclean
Photo 6: (from L- R) George McFarlane; Blair Ebanks;The Governor Mr. Martin Roper; Bud Volinsky, The Bridge Executive Director; Mardo Bush; Carlton Ebanks; Michael Gilson, The Bridge Resident Manager; Jack Mclean, The Bridge Operations Director and Mrs. Roper