My name is Mo and I live at one of Hestia’s mental health accommodation services.

Before arriving at Hestia in 2015 I had been in hospital for a long time for my mental health condition. If Hestia hadn’t been there I would have been homeless and I’m not sure if I would be here today.

I was so relieved when I first arrived at the service. I had a place to live and the support I needed. Thanks to the support from my key worker – Ty and the rest of the team, I felt like I was getting better and was able to go out more and enjoy the outings put on by the service in our community and sometimes across London. The team has been great – they always give me advice and ideas on what to do with my spare time, keep me motivated and support me to become more independent.

After a year or so in the service, I decided that I wanted my own job so I spoke to Ty about volunteering first because I didn’t know what it would be like at work. We found a placement at a printing company and, with Ty’s support, I got chosen for a volunteer position! I helped design business cards which I love because I am very creative and I am getting much better with the computer. Alongside this job I also volunteered in an office doing admin work, taking phonecalls and supporting the team there. Volunteering really helps.

It’s really good for gaining new skills and I felt great to be part of a team and know that I am needed.

I now have a part-time job as a cashier at Sainsbury’s and have been working there since June 2017. The experience I got from my volunteering meant that one my first day I didn’t feel too nervous and was looking forward to getting to know new people. Being occupied has helped me feel less depressed.

I now feel ready for full-time employment and want to start looking for my own flat.