This year London-based charity Hestia will celebrate 50 years of providing crisis support for adults and children who have experienced domestic abuse, modern slavery and challenges with their mental health.
Since 1970 the charity has supported tens of thousands of adults and children in crisis by providing safe houses and refuge accommodation, as well as flagship projects such as domestic abuse campaign UK SAYS NO MORE and volunteer-led Phoenix Project supporting survivors of modern slavery.
The charity relies on over 600 committed volunteers each year to support those who use Hestia’s services; which has grown from a pool of 62 volunteers ten years ago.
Patrick Ryan, Chief Executive of Hestia said:
Today we support more than 10,000 people each year. Yet we have remained close to our values and the ambitions of those generous volunteers 50 years ago. Our priority is still to meet the needs and aspirations of those who need our support and those who find themselves in crisis so that they can fulfil their potential and have lives beyond crisis.
A new campaign video, ‘#LifeBeyondCrisis’ is being launched across the charity’s social media platforms (@Hestia1970) to mark the milestone. Hestia is also telling the stories of those that the charity has supported over the years in a new blog series.
Sara, a survivor of domestic abuse said:
It’s been 18 months since I left Hestia’s refuge, and every single thing in my life has changed. There are moments every day where I’m still in disbelief – when I was with my ex-partner, I remember praying for what I have now.
If I had known about all the types of support available for women and children who’ve experienced domestic abuse, I would have left sooner. The staff at the refuge were just so good: reassuring and non-judgemental, and they listened to what we needed. I still keep in touch with little life updates about new jobs or my new flat.
Activities across the year will see staff, volunteers, people supported by Hestia, corporate partners and supporters celebrate the anniversary and give thanks to all those who have been part of the journey. A range of challenge events will raise vital funds for adults and children in crisis.
Saffron, a resident in mental health supported accommodation, said:
Before Hestia, I was feeling alone and sad basically. Now I think I’m in a good space. The staff have been there to support me. I’ve become more confident and more outgoing.
Hestia has made me mature. They’ve helped me get back into the land of the living and to realise my true potential. It’s taught me to believe in myself.
Some names have been changed