When I first arrived at YMCA Derbyshire, I was having quite serious issues with anxiety and depression. Having spent the past 2 years living a reclusive life, I didn’t communicate with anyone.

I’d given up and had no motivation. I was very nervous about the environment I would be living in and the type of people that might be living there. Soon I realised everyone was in there for numerous reasons but still so friendly and welcoming. Making friends quickly was pleasantly surprising and they didn’t want anything from me other than to know I was ok.

The day to day running of the place was an eye-opener too. I didn’t know the extent of what the staff actually did and it was evident that they genuinely care and wanted to help. They want to put you back on your feet to carry on progressing in your life by the time you leave.

I am willing to do anything to help as YMCA Derbyshire is a special place to me


I have to personally praise the YMCA because within 2-3 weeks I was put in touch with a counsellor to help with my anxiety. Signing up to a gym and playing football twice a week are things I wouldn’t have done if I weren’t living there. Alongside that, I found my creative side again and set up a mini recording studio in my room. This meant I was able to record myself and other talented people I knew of as well. I actually recorded a full album that reflected my emotions and outlook on life while being there.

Eventually I am hoping to share it with other YMCA’s residents around the country to maybe help others through their tough times. I will always be grateful to the staff at YMCA and am willing to do anything I can to help, as it is a special place to me. YMCA has helped me in so many different ways, now I feel like I am in a more focused frame of mind. I want to see what is round the corner instead of worrying what is round the corner.