"To see everyone come together to lend a hand emphasised how much service users are at the heart of all Hestia do."

Gabriella's story of interning with Hestia's communication team

Beginning a three-month internship with a leading crisis charity during a pandemic was an exciting and eye-opening experience. I quickly witnessed their resilience and dedication, which is unique in their support to people in crisis.

Like many people, my role was home-based. Using Teams and Zoom calls became second nature to work alongside the Communications team. Despite the remote working, I had many opportunities to be part of great projects and 'behind the scenes' activities to support fundraising campaigns.

A significant project I worked on was a website refresh for Hestia. To do this, I needed to gain insight from across the many services in Hestia. As a diverse charity specialising in a wide range of services, I had many insightful conversations with colleagues to learn in great depth about their teams' day-to-day activities. These learnings were pivotal to drafting copy to reflect their services and the innovative community-based initiatives they run.

One highlight includes an exciting 'out of office' day to support filming our Big Give 'Dear Santa' Christmas appeal video. The video centred around children reading real letters written by children in Hestia's domestic abuse refuges.

It was a great experience assisting on set at our covid-secure shoot and to be in the studio on the day helping the production team, arranging call times and managing logistics, and most importantly, keeping everyone hand-sanitised.

It was truly a memorable experience meeting some of Hestia's fantastic staff and their incredibly talented children who needed little direction or guidance to deliver lines confidently on camera throughout the filming. Such stars! 

As Christmas approached, donations for survivors in Hestia's modern slavery service arrived by the hour at Hestia's head office. It was a fun experience to help organise the survivors' donations with lots of unboxing and arranging hundreds of toys and gifts. My colleagues and I transformed the office into Santa's grotto by the time all the donations had been delivered. To see everyone come together to lend a hand emphasised how much service users are at the heart of all Hestia do. 

My internship has been a great learning experience that has helped me gain new skills and knowledge. It was interesting to see how a blog or news post I published could have a meaningful impact on a person who may be experiencing a crisis.

It gives a new perspective to understand just what a tweet or a Facebook post signposting the support services Hestia provides can do. Whilst interning during the pandemic has been different and at times challenging, it has also made this experience unique and special.