SI Bournemouth members welcomed Liz Carter, Project Manager at the Water Lily Project to their September meeting. The Project provides support and empower vulnerable women in Christchurch and surrounding areas and help them back to independent living, a service which soroptimists are enthusiastic about locally, nationally and internationally.
It predominantly supports vulnerable women in crisis. This may be a temporary crisis such as an acrimonious divorce, bereavement, illness etc or it could be something more long term such as mental health issues, self-harming, domestic violence and abuse, addiction or financial difficulties.
The aims for all of the beneficiaries is to:
- provide a friendly and loving environment where women feel safe and protected
- give women the freedom to be themselves
- give women space to heal and grow
- give FREE support in a non-judgmental surrounding
On a secondary level the project supports the local community at a cafe which they operate out of and through various projects they can reach the homeless, lonely, elderly and isolated. These projects are for both men and women and include:
- Elderly lunch club every Tuesday – 2 course set meal for £5
- Chatty Tables every Wednesday 10:30-11:30am for anyone who would like to meet new people and make friends
- Art Therapy Course – every Friday (biweekly) mainly aimed at people with mental health issues.
The theory behind the use of the image of the Water Lily is because they sit on very strong leaves that support the flower. They don’t look much when they are closed, but when they are provided with a good and healthy environment and space, they open up and display their beauty. They need good conditions in which to flourish and reach their full potential and this is what the project hopes to provide for the women who come to the Water Lily Project.