Latest Blog 2020: A Year We'll Never Forget This year has been a challenge for us all. Here’s a quick summary of the fantastic achievements from a year we'll never forget. Hestia turned 50! We celebrated 50 years of providing crisis support to adults and children. From those experiencing domestic abuse to survivors of modern slavery. We’ve been there for hundreds of thousands of people every step in their journey to recovery. Hestia won collaboration prize at Stop Slavery Awards Our STEP project pilot was awarded top prize for it’s collaboration with the British Red Cross & Ashiana at Thomas Reuters Foundation’s annual ceremony. The initiative delivering long-standing support for modern slavery survivors gained recognition by the prestigious event. People’s Postcode Trust granted Hestia a whopping £20,000 for our children fleeing abuse This incredible grant-pot funding raised by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery enabled Hestia to continue to provide one to one support for children fleeing domestic abuse with their mothers in our Ealing and Harrow refuge safe houses. In March Hestia welcomed the reintroduced Domestic Abuse Bill to Parliament This pivotal legislation is a shift-making movement within society for every victim of domestic abuse including children. We gained support from over 150 members of parliament signing our Charter on Prevention to make sure no one is left out. We hosted an event celebrating women empowerment for International Women’s day Receiving glamorous mani-pedis and a chance to bag makeup tips & tricks, attendees at our event in Wandsworth for International Women’s day were encouraged to express their self worth and celebrate individual beauty. We were joined by companies such as HSBC who also ran workshops on money management. What a superb event! Hestia wins London Sport Award Hooray! Hestia’s Family Fitness brought home another victory at the London Sport Awards this year which celebrates physical activity and sport across the capital. The project is helping mothers to rebuild relationships with their child after domestic abuse through sport funded by Sports England. We opened a new mental health support service in Folkestone In April our Haven opened to residents over 18 in the Folkestone & Hythe district as a measure to help those struggling with their mental health throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Off it’s back we launched an evening and weekend telephone service to provide additional mental health support and a listening ear for people experiencing crisis. Hestia’s UK SAYS NO MORE campaign launches Safe Spaces We saw Safe Spaces first introduced to Boots pharmacies back in May as a response to concerns around victims of domestic abuse safety as many were trapped at home with their abusers due to lockdown restrictions. Hestia mobilised this effective resource rolled out to the public which provided a lifeline for victims to access support safely. In just a week Superdrug and 60+ independent UK pharmacies joined our Safe Spaces scheme now available for access across over a quarter of consultation rooms. Hestia opens it’s first emergency domestic abuse refuge accommodation for women during the Coronavirus pandemic The new Westminster based 12-bed accommodation funded by the Mayor’s Office for Policing & Crime became the first of it’s kind to open in Britain since the UK’s national lockdown. Welcoming female victims of domestic abuse fleeing home during the pandemic, it came after a surge in downloads to our Bright Sky app. Five brand new support services opened by Hestia in London as response to concerns around mental health during lockdown Hestia’s new services provided mental health crisis support for struggling adults in Newham & Tower Hamlet Together Cafes and three coves in Hillingdon, Kensington & Chelsea and Brent & Harrow. We facilitated a critical space for intervention for people looking to speak to a local support service having difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic. Hestia opens new safe house for victims of modern slavery amid coronavirus crisis We delivered a safe house for female survivors of modern slavery in partnership with Network Homes amid the critical accommodation needs for victims to ensure we can provide necessary support for their recovery. Four new employers received the Everyone’s Business Domestic Abuse Award The award accredited organisations in recognition of their efforts to support employees experiencing domestic abuse. Winners included Wandle Housing, Balfour Beatty, Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire and Hestia. Congratulations to all recipients! Hestia’s Mental Health Recovery Café received nomination for National Charity Award Hestia was nominated as a finalist for our South West London recovery service in Tooting which provides support to residents experiencing a mental health crisis in June, we are delighted to say we won! The Duchess of Cornwall takes a royal visit to our Safe Spaces Hestia was honoured to speak with Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall about our domestic abuse support and our national campaign UK SAYS NO MORE's Safe Spaces scheme at Boots Piccadilly Circus in July. The Royal Mail Group Develops Online Safe Spaces service to support victims of domestic abuse Royal Mail Group worked with Hestia to develop an ‘Online Safe Spaces’ portal, which provides support for victims of domestic abuse. In September the launch was announced which can be installed on corporate websites for free. Offering a discreet service to help abuse victims access support and advice. Hestia launches free domestic abuse advice line for businesses The Everyone’s Business Advice Line was funded by the Home Office for businesses supporting employees experiencing or at risk of domestic abuse as a point of contact in light of Covid-19. They receive advice to signpost staff to specialist domestic abuse services. Hestia hosts free virtual workshops to celebrate World Mental Health Day We organised a free virtual wellbeing workshop set up by Hestia’s Brent Mental Health Service open for anyone to attend via zoom in October. Workshops will included creative writing sessions, meditation and yoga, with the aim of promoting positive well-being and self-care in a time of immense uncertainty. Hestia publishes 'Domestic Abuse in Lockdown' report Hestia published a new report which highlights the impact of Covid-19 on domestic abuse refuges. The report pulled on key data findings in the hope that it would provide useful insight for all organisations who want to play their part in ending domestic abuse. You can find the full report here. Hestia commemerates Black History month this year with new ‘I Am’ series Members of Hestia’s staff teams and volunteers came together to share what Black History Month means to them, and co-produced a calendar of digital events and resources to share and stories to tell. The ‘I Am’ video series, featured members of our staff teams share what being Black means to them, and the importance of recognising and celebrating Black History Month. Check out the series here Hestia launches Emergency Refuge Winter Appeal We launched an Emergency Refuge Winter Appeal calling for public support to ensure our emergency domestic abuse refuge accommodation can stay open over Christmas. The appeal is still running and you can donate today TSB launches Safe Spaces in Worcestershire to offer help to local domestic abuse victims TSB committed to helping local victims of domestic abuse with support across four branches as Safe Spaces was trialled in Worcestershire in partnership with West Mercia Police and become the first retail bank to provide the service. Hestia take parts in the Big Give 2020 Our ‘Dear Santa’ campaign film featured the children of our wonderful staff to raise donations for this year’s Big Give between the 1st – 8th of December. Proceeds which were doubled over the week, supported our Emergency Winter appeal to give children staying in our refuge a safe and happy Christmas. We surpassed our target amount & raised over £21,000 in just a few days! Amazing work! Well Pharmacy Consultation Rooms become the latest safe spaces for victims of domestic abuse Well Pharmacy opened their consultation rooms to victims of domestic abuse in a further 750 locations across the country as they join other large businesses such as Boots, Superdrug and Morrisons already participating in the scheme. Let’s have a toast to our success. Throughout adversity, we have accomplished more than we could have imagined as a crisis support charity in 2020. Here’s to another year of supporting adults and children to a Life Beyond crisis.