Anil's story

I work in investment management and head up the UK Institutional team at my firm. The job involves understanding investment markets, managing relationships with clients and developing investment solutions for them. I also lead a team of fantastic individuals.

It’s quite different from the world of Hestia. However, coming from a completely different field has helped in my role at Hestia as it helps me contribute a different perspective.

I joined Hestia in September 2014 as a co-optee on the Finance and Fundraising Subcommittee. After a year, I was appointed a Trustee and eventually became the Chair of the Committee. The role involves supporting Hestia’s Trustees and Directorate through my knowledge of finance, investments, and auditing.

My role is to work with the Hestia Finance team and oversee the finances so that we remain a viable organisation and can continue to help service users.

Trustees provide overall oversight of the organisation, working with the executive staff on the long-term strategy and direction of the charity through providing advice and consultative input. The Trustees come from a broad range of areas and have considerable expertise in their fields.

I was drawn to Hestia because of the wide range of people it supports and the fact that we are a London-based charity.

In my opinion, London is the greatest city in the world with so much diversity and energy. But the city does have its issues and can be a harsh place when people are going through difficult times.

I am proud that I support an organisation that helps people fleeing domestic abuse and modern slavery.

Since I joined seven years ago, the entire charitable sector has faced immense difficulties particularly with the backdrop of austerity and other secular changes to the sector. However, throughout this difficult context, Hestia has not only continued to deliver vital services to vulnerable people but has also adapted and thrived.

One example of this is the move to fundraising. Hestia first developed a strategy a few years ago but recently the strategy has started to yield some amazing results all thanks to the Hestia fundraising team.

Before the pandemic, Trustees often visited Hestia’s services. I personally find this really helpful as I get to see first-hand the important work that Hestia’s staff do which you simply do not get from reading board papers. It is also an opportunity to meet some of Hestia’s wonderful staff whose drive, passion and determination is always inspirational to me.

One project that we opened during my time with Hestia is the Recovery Café. The café is in my local area and helps people in immediate need for support with their mental health. It’s open when other services might not be, such as at the weekends. The café helps to alleviate pressure on the NHS as people can go to the café instead of to A&E. It’s an innovative idea and another example of how Hestia has adapted to the context in faces.

Another example was when I met a support worker in one of Hestia’s domestic abuse refuges. She was so passionate about helping those who lived there and treated them as though they were her daughters. She was another inspirational person working at Hestia who understood the needs and perspectives of every woman there. It’s not just about showing empathy. It’s about listening to a person who is in crisis and that’s a skill which few people have.

Although my role is all about the financial numbers, I am cognisant not to forget the reason why Hestia is here.

Hestia’s staff and service users have taught me that when someone goes through a period of crisis, there is a uniqueness to it. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach, and the staff understand that; all support is tailored to each individual. Indeed, I attended a Hestia Approach training day a few years’ ago to understand the importance of the recovery approach and co-production.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with Hestia. Although I don’t have the expertise to work with the service users as the Hestia staff do, I hope to support our organisation by working with the other Trustees to ensure we continue to meet the challenges of the future. The Trustees and the Executive reviewed our strategy a few years ago and we are going through this change. I am very confident that Hestia will continue to thrive and help people in crisis over coming years.

My time at Hestia comes to an end next year. I will have been at the Charity for 8 years which is a significant period of time. However, I will always be around to help Hestia and will be there to support the charity in the best way I can.

Which film has impacted me the most?

Prior to the pandemic I was a frequent visitor to the cinema. My favourite director is Christopher Nolan as I always find his films interesting and thought-provoking. Interstellar is one of my favourites. Not only is it set in space and demonstrates the sheer weirdness of space and time which I’ve always been fascinated by.  There are also some really exciting scenes with the main protagonist going through various challenges. However, it also demonstrates the importance of NOT relying purely on rationality and science and ignoring the seemingly irrational side of human-nature.

Which book has impacted me the most?

I’ve always enjoyed George Orwell’s novels and my favourite is 1984. I’ve actually read this three times, once at school, once about a decade ago and I recently finished my third reading. I’ve managed to get something different from it each time and find the themes so relevant to today. Particularly with the advent of technology it seems some aspects of the novel are very prescient.

Which song has impacted me the most?

The Beatles are my favourite band and have always been the soundtrack to my life. Their creativity is unquestioned when one looks at their discography with the band writing some truly beautiful songs. My favourite Beatles song changes from time-to-time and is currently Here Comes the Sun. The song radiates positivity and reflects my hope that we are seeing the gradual end of the pandemic and the start of a new dawn where we can put the last 18 months behind us.