Ashley’s mental health began to suffer after losing work. This is his recovery journey.


I’d lost work after 26 years and was unraveling with mental health issues

I first encountered Penumbra in the Autumn of 2017. I’d lost work after 26 years and was unraveling with mental health issues. I suffered depression, anxiety and OCD, had attempted suicide and regularly self harmed.

I was referred to the self harm team and within a very short time had a weekly appointment. I was immediately put at ease by the kindness, expertise, empathy and good humour of my Penumbra worker. These sessions explored difficult experiences from which I learnt so much. I always left each meeting far less anxious, and energised.

I was amazed at the holistic approach and range of knowledge of my worker. She fully embraced my non-binary identity and helped affirm positive steps along that journey.

In the 15 months of outstanding free weekly support, I progressed so much thanks to Penumbra. I rediscovered a love for running and art, joined groups and have began working with an employability agency.

I rediscovered a love for running and art

I couldn’t have done of this without Penumbra, and as a small token of thanks, I completed a recent 13k Kilomathon run to raise funds for Penumbra. I couldn’t recommend Penumbra enough for the diversity range and quality of their services.


*Since this article was written, Ash has taken part in another running event. The photos attached to this story show Ash taking part in a 10k half marathon last month. To date, we reckon Ash has raised around £850 for Penumbra. Thank you so much, Ash!