5th June 2024

Name: Nishi

Job role: Volunteer Befriender for Modern Slavery Response Team

Last year I started volunteering as a Befriender for the Modern Slavery Response team. I got involved with Hestia during an art project open day and I’ve been with Hestia since 2008.

Since volunteering with Hestia I’ve made a lot of new friends and grown in confidence.

Volunteering has been amazing. Last year, I was looking after a service user, and I was nervous at first but eventually we got on like a house on fire. We would sit in the garden and have coffee with each other, I would water the flowers in the garden, or help her with any calls that needed to be made to do with her bills. She would often make tea and we would talk about life and her children, unfortunately she lost her husband. I eventually started going two days a week.

Since volunteering with Hestia, I’ve made a lot of new friends and grown in confidence. I’ve worked in a refuge, inspecting services, I’ve been able to encourage our service users. I always take the opportunity to partake in panels and do interviews. Right now, I’m volunteering in the modern slavery team.

I would encourage others to keep going even if you must take little steps to get there. I used to really struggle with my mental health, to the point where even doing things like brushing my teeth and getting out of bed was difficult for me. Every time you do the small things, celebrate it and say, “I’ve done my best.” Tell yourself it’s going to be a good day, those little steps are worth writing down, always be thinking, ‘how can I turn this negative into a positive?’ If it helps you, journal. I journaled when I wasn’t well, it really helped me to process my journey.

Hestia has helped me in many ways.  It’s amazing to be part of such a great team – I would encourage you to volunteer today.

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