25 June 2024

Left to right: Patrick Ryan, Hestia Chief Executive; Bassam Mahfouz AM, Member of the London Assembly for Ealing and Hillingdon; Lesley Thomson, former Director at Hestia from 1989-2015; and Christoph Heintzeler-Phillips, Specialist Support Team at Ealing Council. 

This summer, Hestia’s Dame Gertrude Young House in Ealing is marking 40 years of its role in providing vital support at the heart of the Ealing community.

From small beginnings in 1984, Dame Gertrude Young House now provides a haven for men who are at risk of homelessness due to their complex mental health needs.  

For four decades, the service has provided temporary accommodation while supporting residents with their transition back into independent living, helping them to build stable and bright futures.

Residents are encouraged to form connections and build a sense of community within the house. They can get involved with various activities including arts and crafts, badminton and gardening, and there are also opportunities for education, training, and volunteering.

At a celebration event to mark the anniversary, residents, staff, and supporters came together to recognise the achievements of the many residents over its long history. 

Derek, a current resident at Dame Gertrude Young House, commented:

“I’ve struggled with alcohol misuse for most of my life and have taken other substances too. My previous accommodation was dirty and left me feeling depressed. I ended up drinking more as a result.

“When I first arrived at Dame Gertrude Young House, I immediately noticed the difference. Since living here I’ve felt at home and my wellbeing has improved as a result. It’s clean, the atmosphere is relaxed, and the other residents and staff members are really nice and supportive. I also really enjoy using the kitchen to cook my meals.

“My alcohol use has reduced with the help of the team, and I intend to recover fully. In the future I want to move on to live independently and maintain close contact with my family. The support I’ve received here makes this feel possible – the only way is up, not down!”

Commenting on the milestone, Patrick Ryan, Chief Executive at Hestia said:

“Hestia exists to help people in crisis, empowering them to find safety, hope and purpose on their journey to recovery, and Dame Gertrude Young House is a shining example of that approach. When you walk through the doors, you immediately get a sense of what a warm and welcoming place it is. Most importantly, our residents tell us how this environment helps them to feel safe, less anxious, and able to look to the future with more hope.

“We are hugely proud of all that our many residents have achieved over the years, from developing their skills for independence to uncovering their artistic talents, including most recently starting their own choir. We hope that this unique safe haven continues to be part of the fabric of Ealing’s community for many more years to come.”

A mother of a resident at Dame Gertrude Young House said:

“Caring for someone who suffers from mental health is not easy, especially when you are not trained for it. It reached the point where l did not know how to cope. When he was offered a place at DGYH it meant l could continue working and he could get the help and support needed.

This really highlights how important these services are for both carers and residents as he is supported and assisted with medication, GP and medical appointments and helping him gain independence and responsibility.

I am truly so grateful to DGYH and the staff.  They are amazing and are so appreciated.  Thank you for all the hard work you do in supporting my son and others.”

Find out more about Dame Gertrude Young House

Learn more about Hestia’s mental health support