THE Charlie Watkins Foundation (CWF) works with a variety of charity partners who have the same ambition: to better support young people who may be struggling with their mental health and wellbeing. So when the foundation came across the Charlie Waller Trust (CWT), a charity whose story almost mirrors that of CWF, it was clear that they could make a difference together.
In 1997, Charlie Waller tragically took his own life at the age of 28 while suffering from depression. Twenty years later, in 2017, 22-year-old Charlie Watkins also took his own life at university.
Both struggled with mental health challenges. Both their families responded to their tragic loss by setting up charities to help young people who may also be struggling with their mental health.
With stories so similar and ambitions aligned, it resonated with both organisations to work together to create change for young people who are heading to university for the first time.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made the potential for anxiety and mental health challenges at university even greater, meaning more support is needed for young, vulnerable people who are making the transition to higher education this year.
The Charlie Watkins Foundation has given a grant to the Charlie Waller Trust, which has enabled its experts to write a wide variety of bespoke Transition Guides for vulnerable students leaving home to go to university.
These guides have a variety of themes that aim to help students from many different backgrounds. These themes are diversity and inclusivity, young carers, LGBTQ+ students, international students, care leavers and those who have Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE).
They are all based on sound evidence and written by mental health clinicians with the aim of helping students cope with the challenges they may face to their mental wellbeing when in higher education.
It is hoped that these transition guides will make a real difference for all students, particularly those in vulnerable groups who may find the transition from school and home especially challenging.
This project would not have been possible without the help and support of generous donors and fundraisers at the Charlie Watkins Foundation.