Not for Profit

Published: September 27, 2020 | Updated: September 27, 2020

Four join The Water Lily Project which supports vulnerable women in Christchurch and beyond

By Andrew Diprose, editor

A charity which supports vulnerable women in Christchurch and the surrounding area has expanded its team.

The Water Lily Project was founded in 2011 by a group of local Christians.

They identified a need to help women affected by either domestic violence and abuse, addiction, sex trade, financial difficulty or homelessness.

It has been operating out of the Water Lily Cafe in Barrack Road since 2014.

Proceeds from the cafe, which is mainly run by volunteers, go to the charity.

Tracie Billington-Beardsley has been appointed as a Part-Time Marketing Assistant with The Water Lily Project.

Bev McKay, Anita Dalkin and Jacquie Holt have joined as 1 to 1 support workers, supporting and empowering vulnerable women.

Tracie, pictured left, is a former Woman’s Editor for The Daily Echo in Southampton and a magazine journalist with IPC Magazines.

She brings more than 20 years of experience in marketing, PR and journalism to the charity.

Tracie has also worked in radio, television, marketing, advertising and PR, including work for the charity Forest Holme Hospice.

She said: “I’m delighted to be working for such a worthwhile charity and keen to help raise its profile to make sure more people get to hear about the great work going on here at Water Lily.”

Bev, pictured right, started her career in nursing.

After a career break to bring up five children, she became a mental health and wellbeing trainer consultant and coach.

She is also trained in counselling and a tutor in mental health and wellbeing awareness courses as well as a qualified mental health first aider.

Anita, pictured left, moved to the UK from America in 2002.

Having studied Cross Cultural Studies and Psychology, she brings invaluable experience to her role and has worked as a support worker with refugees and vulnerable migrants.

Anita is also a talented artist and keen to help people through her creative talents.

Jacquie, pictured right, joined The Water Lily Project in May as Covid-19 took a grip.

Her credentials include working on the BBC children’s TV programme Blue Peter, teaching English to Japanese women and as a supervisor at NSPCC ChildLine.

Jacquie said: “I came to The Water Lily Project as a volunteer befriender doing crafts and taking part in the lunches.

“I enjoyed my conversations with the women so decided to seize the opportunity to work with the women in an even more meaningful way.”

The Water Lily Project is one of only a few charities offering 1 to 1 support for vulnerable women for a continued period – in some cases for an entire year.

Liz Carter, Charity Manager, said: “These new appointments are so vital as the impact of lockdown in terms of domestic violence and mental health is revealed.

“We have a lot more women who need our help urgently.”

The charity is keen to hear from any local businesses that may like to support The Water Lily Project with sponsorship or select as a Charity of the Year.

Please contact marketing@waterlily.org.uk