Hestia's Head of Volunteering nominated shortlisted at the Helpforce Champion Awards

Hestia's Head of Volunteering and Coproduction, Clare Alagh, has been shortlisted for 'Health Leader Champion for Volunteering' at the Helpforce Champion Awards.

Clare Alagh, Head of Volunteering and Coproduction at Hestia said: “I am absolutely delighted to be shortlisted for the Health Leader Champion for Volunteering Award, what an honour to be recognised in these national awards. I am so proud of the amazing team of volunteers at Hestia. I feel extremely lucky to work alongside our volunteers and witness the incredible work support men, women and children to rebuild their lives every day. Our volunteers inspire and motivate me to continue thinking big, be ambitious and keeping continuing to develop and grow our volunteering department at Hestia. Our volunteering successes at Hestia, over the last 7 years wouldn’t be possible without the support of the wider Volunteering and Coproduction team, who I am extremely thankful for.”

Helpforce, which partners with health and care organisations across the UK to accelerate the growth and impact of volunteering, will be holding their annual awards ceremony on November 4th 2022 at the Royal Airforce Club in London.

The awards will be judged by an expert panel of experienced judges including last year’s winner of Volunteer of the Year Sammy McKee, as well as Dr Helen Gilburt, Fellow in Health Policy, the King's Fund; Karen Bonner, Chief Nurse & Director for Infection Prevention & Control, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust; Mark Lever, Helpforce CEO; Sir Tom Hughes-Hallet, Helpforce Chairman and Founder; Alisa Binnington, Director of Finance at Helpforce, Shirley Baines, CEO, the Burdett Trust for Nursing; Dr Yasmin Razak, GP, the Golborne Medical Centre, London and Emma Easton, Deputy Director Voluntary Partnerships, NHS England.

In honour of the shortlisting, we spoke to Clare to find out more about her time at Hestia:

"Hello, my name is Clare Alagh, and I am the Head of Volunteering and Coproduction at Hestia. January 2023 will mark 10 years of working at Hestia and what a journey it has been.  

When I look back at the person I was joining the organisation, to the person I am today, I feel so proud of my Hestia journey and thankful for the people I have met along the way - mostly I am referring to the people I have supported within our services and the volunteers who I have been fortunate to work alongside.  

I started at Hestia (still today one of my favourite roles in my working career) as a Children and Family Worker in one of our refuges. It was this role that really inspired me to push myself out of my comfort zone, find solutions, and advocate for families I supported.  

To see the families arrive with worried and scared faces, and to leave with smiles and optimism for the future, are moments in my career I will never forget. The learning curve was huge, as the role allowed me to have autonomy, to be creative, be courageous, try new things, whilst setting up various programmes & initiatives to support families in the refuge to rebuild their lives and their relationships as a family. 

As part of this role, I had the opportunity to recruit, support volunteers and this where my passion to lead Hestia’s volunteering department began. During my time in the refuge, I was seconded to a management role which provided me with the needed management experience. 

For the last 7 years I have been leading the Volunteering and Coproduction team. I feel I have lucked out, because I witness hundreds of acts of kindness across the organisation every day.  

In my role no one day is every the same, and I am taken back by individuals who give up their time and the difference they have made to men, women, and children we support.  

At Hestia, I have met so many kind, caring and inspiring volunteers who keep me motivated to continue to think big, be ambitious and keep growing and continue to transform the Volunteering and Coproduction department.  

In 2010 we had 62 volunteers and today we have over 600 people supporting us every year. I am fortunate to work alongside an amazing group of individuals within my team who are dedicated and motivated to keep going and reaching high to support those at Hestia.” 

We're looking for people with a passion to change lives, and who identify with our values: respectful, genuine, dedicated, collaborative, courageous. If Hestia sounds like your dream employer, then click here to see our current opportunities.