My name is Louise and I have been receiving support from Hestia for two years.

When I first came to Hestia I was all over the place and felt very lost in myself. I was given a room at Hestia’s accommodation service for adults struggling with their mental health in Hounslow. There I had a great support worker called Mia. Mia helped me feel settled and soon I started to feel stronger. After a few months I felt well enough to become more independent and moved to Hestia’s “step down service” close by.

Wellington road provides accommodation for people like me who need a lower level of support for their mental health who have struggled with being homeless. I have a great room which feels like my own flat – I have a bathroom, a little kitchen area and look out onto the garden. I love having my own space. Soon after I moved in, the manager saw I was coming on leaps and bounds and invited me to become a volunteer as a mentor for the Self-Help Centre in Hestia’s Hospital Discharge service (which is also in Hounslow). My first day I couldn’t believe it! The centre is amazing. I love that fact it was completely designed by the people living in the service – they even raised money themselves through a grant from the local ASDA! The made their dream a reality.

The centre has made an incredible difference to my life and my journey of recovery. My confidence has grown so much that I even offered to speak at the public unveiling of the centre to our local councillors, mayor and the MP!

Figure 1(L-R) Melissa Hay, Hestia; two Hounslow councillors; Abigail Ampofo, Hestia Operations Director; Cllr Saima Chaudhury, Mayor of Hounslow; Ruth Cadbury MP; Martin Cheeseman, chair of Trustees at Hestia

I love volunteering and am so proud to have become a mentor for people who use the centre*. We provide peer support sessions and have lot of exciting things planned as part of the Self-Help Centre. This includes things like bike rides, more yoga classes, chess tournaments and that’s just the start! This centre has already helped so many people like me I believe it can help so many others in the future. It will help people become stronger.

Hestia have become like family to me. I now have high hopes for my future where before I didn’t even know where to begin. I’m a different person and it is thanks to the team here at Hestia that I have grown so much!


*(this includes people supported by Hestia’s mental health accommodation and outreach services across Hounslow)