A young woman who has struggled with mental illness conquered Mount Snowdon to celebrate her 21st birthday.
Ashleigh Porschke, who is currently receiving care on Rosewood Ward in Chester provided by Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP), decided to celebrate the milestone by hiking up Mount Snowdon to raise money for PAPYRUS, the national charity for the prevention of young suicide.
One of the goals that Ashleigh gave herself was to climb Mount Snowdon and because of the progress she has made at CWP, that goal became a reality.
Ashleigh had spent her last three birthdays inside hospitals but she was determined that this year was to be different.
Feeling that she is at the highest point of her recovery so far, the challenge of reaching the summit of with the help of CWP staff, seemed more appropriate than ever.
Ashleigh said: “I have been an inpatient in psychiatric hospitals since I turned 17, and struggled with various mental illnesses since I was 15. I am still fighting, and remain in hospital as it takes time to recover and recovery is a journey, everyone’s journey is different.”
Despite living with suicidal thoughts, she wanted to try and prove that things can get better, strength is about overcoming obstacles and to give a little bit back in return for the help she has received from many different people over the years.
Four members of staff accompanied Ashleigh on the three hour walk to reach the summit.
Staff nurse Emma Roberts said: “As Ashleigh’s key nurse I really wanted to support her and see her achieve this goal.”
Mike Maier, CWP Chairman, added: “I recently met Ashleigh and we discussed the importance of person centred care - treating people as unique individuals with their own abilities, needs and goals. We are very proud of all of her achievements and of the staff who accompanied her on the day.”
Ashleigh is now hoping to start training to become a Young Advisor, helping to shape services for future generations.
She added: “I’m raising money in the hope that even the smallest of donations can make a difference and that others suffering can receive the help they need to get through the darkest of times.”
So far she has raised nearly £1,000 via her justgiving page.
If you would like to make a donation, click here.