Picture of Fiona Brown

Fiona Brown

Communications Officer

Making a difference as a trustee with Penumbra Mental Health

Scotland’s third sector is a powerful movement for change and is it any wonder, driven by people with a fierce passion for social justice. From lifeline services to policy advocacy, our third sector is #NeverMoreNeeded.

There’s no doubt the sector is characterised by creativity and innovation. Whilst in large part that’s down to having to box clever within complex budgets, it’s also because it recruits good people with diverse life skills and experiences who share the values that underpin its work.

Let’s not forget that many of those people are in volunteer roles; 28% of Scotland’s adult population or 1.26 million people to be exact. Some clever folks have even estimated the economic benefit of formal and informal volunteering at around £5.5 billion.

All that number crunching can seem a bit crass when you consider the human impact of volunteering. In a world where everything is measured in tangible outcomes, the social value of volunteering and its contribution to society is priceless.

Here at Penumbra we’re no exception. Our brilliant trustees meet throughout the year to develop the organisational goals that help shape our direction of travel as a pioneering mental health charity.

Although we’re quite modest about the achievements in our 35-year history, the Penumbra approach to mental health recovery, has earned us our place in the sector as a well respected and forward thinking mental health charity.

The only thing we ask of applicants is that they bring their creativity A-game, their passion for mental health, and a kick ass attitude to effecting lasting change.

This year is especially exciting for us as we embark on a recruitment drive for trustees to help develop our new strategic plan under our new brand identity. New trustees will be joining us at a significant time in our growth when our expertise in distress and trauma informed support has seen us partner in some high profile national projects including the Scottish Government’s National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group, Future Pathways, the Redress Support Scheme and Distress Brief Intervention.

But central to all of this is the human impact of our work. Our teams and the people who access our services never fail to inspire hope. As one Penumbra peer worker recently said, mental ill health should never be the end of the line. With people at the heart of everything we do, our work to embed lived experience in our work continues. We know we won’t stand still. We know we’ll continue to innovate and influence. Yesterday was good, but what can we do to make tomorrow better? As the recruitment drive for our new trustees gets underway, the successful candidates will be playing their part in making a difference. The only thing we ask of applicants is that they bring their creativity A-game, their passion for mental health, and a kick ass attitude to effecting lasting change.

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We will do the right thing. Standing up for people, their rights, wellbeing and recovery


We listen and respond with hope, kindness and respect.


We explore, reflect, learn and adapt to create solutions that are best for people’s wellbeing.


We will work with those who share our vision and values.