Water Lily Project is a Christian charity that was founded in 2011 by a group of local Christians who saw a need to help women affected by domestic violence, substance abuse, sex trade, poverty and homelessness. Our aim is to support and empower these women in Christchurch and the surrounding areas. Our long term vision is to house vulnerable young women (with or without children) threatened with homelessness, provide training to allow women to gain self confidence and an education to improve chances of gaining employment, and provide an Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) education for children under the age of five.
In October 2014, The Water Lily Project was given the opportunity to have their own premises by taking over the running of Baileys Cafe and Picture Framing on Barrack Road, Christchurch. The premises have given the project scope to expand in many ways:
The cafe is open to the public Monday to Friday, 10am-2pm and serves a range of hot and cold drinks, cakes, cooked breakfast as well as hot and cold lunches, all at very affordable prices. Other items are for sale as well, such as knitted garments, handmade cards and other crafts which have been made by Water Lily Project women.
This helps to fund the work of the Water Lily Project whilst also providing training opportunities for the women who are supported by the project such as working in the kitchen, serving out front in the cafe, and gaining a Level 2 Food Hygiene certificate. All these things can help equip women with more life skills and build confidence as they acknolwedge they can do things they may not have even considered before.
The cafe also means WLP have their own space in which to meet women who need support, and the groups on Wednesday and Thursday now meet here instead of in different locations as was the case previously.
Baileys Online and Baileys Picture Framing
Towards the back of Baileys there are two rooms which give the project the scope to provide more useful resources to the women it supports, as well as provide more training opportunities.
The first of these is the computer room, and access of these computers, printers and the internet is available for the cost of £1 for an hour of use. Two mornings each week, one-to-one tutoring is available for a small charge for those wishing to learn more about how to use computers and the internet.
The second room is the picture framing workshop which is open Mondays and Tuesdays. This room is also used during the rest of week for art groups and craft projects such as card making and sewing.