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We are delighted to announce the appointment of our first CEO to head up our Christian charity supporting women in crisis back to independent living. Andy Gilbert takes up the new appointment, bringing with him significant management experience from church, charitable organisations, and business backgrounds. Andy, who lives in Wimborne, was instrumental in running a nationwide charity initiative to help churches across the country become more dementia friendly, including working with Lambeth Palace, the London home and centre of ministry of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the prestigious Church House.

He was also Managing Director of a limited company that delivered corporate team building to large organisations including Google, Spotify, and VW/Audi.  Before this, he worked with Barclays Bank in Poole where he was involved in managing strategic development and UK-wide programmes.

Andy said: “Water Lily Project supports women in their greatest times of need yet receives no government funding and relies solely on grants, awards, and fundraising. As the country enters an economic crisis, I know things are going to get even harder for the women we support and charities like Water Lily but I’m looking forward to this new challenge.

“We have a waiting list of women in crisis as cases of domestic abuse continue to rise. We’re also seeing more cases of women with mental health issues such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. And worryingly, older women in their seventies upwards, who have suffered domestic violence for many years, are seeking our help.”

He added: “I’m keen to grow our relationships with Dorset’s business community in terms of sponsorship support and encouraging them to work with us on Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. We’re already lucky enough to have JP Morgan in Bournemouth and Nationwide Building Society in Christchurch supporting us in funding equipment, volunteering, as well as fundraising but we desperately need more help and funding.”

Water Lily Project trustee Sue Daly said: “Andy brings a huge amount of business acumen to the charity. We’re over ten years old now and have grown considerably in that time.  Andy’s skills will prove vital in helping us restructure and look forward to the next ten years and how we can continue to help more women back to independent living.”

If you would like to get involved in supporting Water Lily Project, please contact Andy on