Every year, 8 March marks International Women's Day, a day to celebrate the extraordinary women around us and to highlight the ongoing struggles that women around the world still face today.

This year, we're sounding the klaxon and rolling out the red carpet for just a handful of the valiant women working and volunteering with Hestia, who make an irrefutable difference to the lives of their colleagues, their teams and most importantly, the individuals we support.

They're everyday super heroes, and remind us that phenomenal women are changing the world all around us.

Here are 8 women on what about their role inspires them, and about the women who have inspired them to be who they are today.

Meet 8 Women Changing Lives In London

Seem Alsasa
Digital Projects Manager

"I'm inspired by my role because it's about not giving up on those who need support. It's about contributing towards changing inherited attitudes about women and domestic abuse.

I'm inspired by every woman who has encountered and continues to encounter a struggle, especially those who have experienced domestic abuse, suffer from mental health conditions and have been through the asylum and refugee process.

Also, my daughter, who inspires me every single day."

Nat Purton Jones
Team Manager, Lewisham Older Adults Service

"At Hestia, we’re in a very privileged position in that we get to witness the journeys of those that use our services, and even to be a small part of those journeys is amazing.

To get to see individuals grow in confidence , overcome challenges and move in the direction they want to be going in is a special thing to see. As a manager I also love to see my staff team and students develop.

I’m very fortunate that I get to meet so many amazing people - amazing women, from those working in other agencies, to those using our services, my colleagues and volunteers - everyone has a story to tell."

Eustace Karikari
Social Integration Worker, Kingston Integrated Mental Health Service

"The most inspiring part of my role is helping people to overcome personal challenges, develop confidence in their own abilities and move on in their lives.

I'm inspired to do the work I do by my mother. She encourages me to be the woman that I am today.

The woman I am becoming is the woman that inspires me to do the work that I do."

Stephanie Carter
Children and Family Worker, Domestic Abuse Service

"I'm inspired by working alongside the families who call Hestia home, and by seeing the young people flourish after their own experiences of abuse.

I'm continuously inspired by the mothers and children that we support - the strength, kindness, compassion and warmth these families bring with them.

I'm also influenced by my own mother whose unconditional love gave me the foundations for my life."

Natasha Ventour
Family Fitness Programme Assistant

"I love that I’ve come through the other end, from being a service user to a volunteer and now to being an employee of Hestia. I’ve been fortunate in having a role which enables me to meet people and talk to them about the importance of being active.

It motivates me being able to make people realise that you really can get through a crisis.

I’m inspired by Maya Angelou and her fantastic poetry, but also by my mum. She has made me realise the power of family, and the importance of remaining strong."

Abigail Ampofo
Director of Operations

"It’s empowering to be able to work with people who are passionate about achieving lasting change. I work with a group of women who all advocate really hard for our service users, and put them at the heart of what we do.

It inspires me every day, as do the women we support through our services."

Emilia Atmanagara
Volunteer Training Facilitator

"I’ve been a volunteer with Hestia for over two years. I’m honoured to facilitate workshops and discussion groups on communication for service users, volunteers and staff.

Through my volunteering, I can see that by empowering people, lives change. I love the diversity of my role and knowing that what I do makes a difference.

I’m inspired by the women who have had the courage to seek support for the situation they’re in – I’m humbled by these courageous women. I feel so lucky to be part of Hestia and part of the support they receive."

Sandra Simara
Service Manager, RBKC Complex Needs Accommodation Service

"I'm inspired by being able to contribute to making a difference in people's lives every day.

My mother is my biggest inspiration - she is strong, supportive, kind and resilient.

I also look up to Ellen DeGeneres, because she is brave and wasn't afraid to be her true self and progress in her career despite discrimination and prejudice."

What are you doing to celebrate the women in your life?

Take a look at Hestia's Career Opportunities

Take a look at Hestia's Volunteering Opportunities