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Here at The Water Lily Project (WLP) we’re delighted to appoint a Deputy Manager for the first time in our charity’s ten-year history.

Bev McKay takes on this new role, having worked for WLP for six months as a support worker providing one to one counselling for women struggling with a variety of complex needs including mental health issues, domestic abuse, financial hardship or dealing with the aftermath of addictions.

A qualified Mental Health and Wellbeing trainer consultant and coach, Bev brings a huge amount of knowledge on mental health to this new appointment. She is also trained in counselling and a tutor in mental health and wellbeing awareness courses.

As a recognised Mental Health First Aider, Bev has worked within many organisations to increase mental health awareness and to equip staff to deal with sensitive conversations. She is passionate about reducing stigma and supporting organisations to deal effectively with mental health challenges and developing wellbeing champions within organisations.

Bev (pictured below) complements her skills in well-being, mental health awareness and stress management with her experience as a qualified nurse, having begun her career in nursing. Her medical background enables her to contextualise her coaching with the impacts that poor mental health, stress and excessive pressure has on the body.

The mother of five from Christchurch is also a practising Christian and says: “My decision to take on this new position at the Water Lily Project is very much governed by a clear vision that God has been directing me to use my skills in a valuable role. To be part of this Christian-based charity allows me to fulfil this calling and use my professional skills to support, nurture and help people grow, develop and remain safe.”

Liz Carter, manager of The Water Lily Project said: “The work our charity does is increasing all the time as more women come to us, especially as we find ourselves in another lockdown. Bev’s expertise in mental health is so valuable and will bring a whole level of new support we can offer women suffering from the stress and mental impact of this pandemic and its effects beyond.”

She added: “Having a deputy manager to share the workload will also allow us more time for focus on strategic initiatives such as securing more stable funding to ensure WLP is at the forefront of helping to empower local women to make long-term changes for the better.”