“I’m inspired by other volunteers. It’s amazing what people, real people who care, do and how much they contribute,” says Sabrina Iqbal. “It makes me cry sometimes to think how beautiful people can be.”

Sabrina’s own selfless soul is enough to bring a tear to the eye. Her zest for life, learning and others is extraordinary and utterly inspiring. Not only is the mother of three raising her children independently while completing a psychology degree but, for the past year, she has also been dedicating her compassion and any remaining free time to Hestia’s service users.

“I’m one of those people who always says show me more, teach me more, I want to do more. That message ‘yes, you can do it’ is so important – I wish someone had said it to me many years ago.”

She now encourages self-belief in others while running our Wellbeing and Empowerment sessions. After assisting in one of Hestia’s domestic abuse refuges, she has become a mental health recovery volunteer for Huddleston Close and Grand Union Place.

The centres work alongside befrienders, volunteers and peer supporters to deliver activities that promote independence and reduce reliance on services. Through art, self-esteem exercises and even board games, Sabrina has “brought people together and uplifted service users’ confidence so they feel good about themselves,” says her manager, Sumitra.  

In fact, at the University of East London (UEL), where she is studying, she recently won the Outstanding Contribution to Volunteering Award for her dedication and positive impact. “It was a big shock but I’m very proud to be part of Hestia, volunteering has truly been a wonderful learning experience,” she says. “It’s amazing to be able to have such a big impact. It makes me feel really good – like everything is worthwhile.”

Having discovered Hestia through her course, she now counts volunteering as the “the bread and butter of learning”, attributing it to her improved confidence and practical understanding in psychology. It helps that Sabrina’s volunteer supervisor nurtures her development and is always open to new ideas. “The team is absolutely amazing. I cannot thank everyone working at Hestia enough for all the support and encouragement.”

It’s clear though that Sabrina’s passion is ultimately fuelled by her own warm heart.

We’re all a piece of a world puzzle, bricks in a wall. We should walk side by side and help each other out. I just say wake up and do good and try as best as you can to make even a tiny fraction of difference to somebody’s life.

Certainly the words of a truly beautiful person.