Difficulties with her mental health led to physical health problems for Morwenna, and for a time she was unable to walk. With NHS support to get medically better, Morwenna began the Fairbridge programme to put her life and her aspirations back together.
Morwenna experienced first-hand the physical effects of depression after she experienced her first ever seizure in 2015. Now on the road to recovery, she has become a Young Ambassador for the Trust and is taking part in Palace to Palace.
Can you tell us a little bit about why you first came to the Prince’s Trust?
In September 2015, I started college. It seemed to be the natural step and all of my friends were doing the same. However, it soon became clear that I was lacking the motivation and concentration needed. I had been struggling with my mental health, particularly depression for a long time and the impact was becoming clear.
By November, I was struggling to keep up with my work and I had my first ever seizure. I was taken to A&E and was told it was a reaction to the anti-depressants that I had taken and they sent me home with assurance that I would feel better in a few days.
However, after a few days I still didn’t feel any better. The seizure had left me unable to walk and I needed help dressing and washing. Confined to a wheelchair, I struggled to adjust to being completely dependent on others and my mental health suffered accordingly. However, through regular physio and a two week hospital stay, I began to make slow but steady progress and I started to look for something to fill my time.
I was referred to The Prince's Trust and in May I started the Fairbridge programme. During my one week access course with a two night residential stay, I met a fantastic group of people and we participated in a number of activities including team building, cooking, low ropes and climbing.
In December, I moved on from the Fairbridge programme and began an online access course in Humanities and Social Science. I am really enjoying it and it's really motivating to have a goal to work towards that still allows me to keep up my hobbies.
Why did you decide to be a Young Ambassador for the Prince’s Trust?
Becoming a Young Ambassador is an important role for me as I would like to be able to give back to the Trust and help give other young people the opportunities I have had. I would never have thought myself to be capable of doing anything like Palace to Palace before and I know that I would not be in the position I am now without The Prince's Trust. Also, by being a Young Ambassador, I’m able to have some amazing opportunities, expand my comfort zone and share my experiences with others.
When did you decide to take on Palace to Palace and why?
I decided to take part in Palace to Palace in June as I felt ready for a new challenge. It's important to me that I continue to push myself in my recovery and this seemed like the ideal opportunity. In October I will have been back on my feet for ten months and I look forward to proving to myself that it is possible to be as active as I was before my health problems.
How did you find filming with David Weir?
Filming with David Weir was an amazing experience. It was so inspiring to hear his story first hand and about some of the difficulties he has overcome, particularly in relation to mental health. It is so nice to hear him discuss this topic openly as it's something that so many people suffer with, often privately. I also got some great tips about preparation and motivation that will help me with my Palace to Palace training.
How is your training for Palace to Palace going so far?
My training for Palace to Palace is a work in progress. I am gradually building up the miles and trying new local cycle routes. I particularly enjoy cycling around the New Forest as there are so many stunning views to take in.
What are you most excited about for the event?
I'm excited to be part of such a big event and cycling alongside so many other people who support the Trust. The route also route looks amazing and I'm looking forward to seeing different parts of London along the way. It's my first time doing anything like this so it will be a completely new experience and I’m truly looking forward to it.