Captain Tom 100

Can you help us raise £10,000 to support young people’s mental health?

National sensation Sir Captain Tom Moore provided a message of hope among the chaos at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when he vowed to walk 100 lengths of his garden to raise money for the NHS. Following his death earlier this year, the Captain Tom 100 campaign was launched. Here Harry Watkins, co-founder of the Charlie Watkins Foundation, discusses why we are taking part and how your donations help fund our vital work.

The devastating news of Sir Captain Tom Moore’s death in February shocked the nation.

The 100-year-old had been a beacon of hope for many during the coronavirus pandemic. His astonishing challenge to raise £1,000 for the NHS in 2020 ended up yielding more than £30 million.

Although Sir Captain Tom Moore passed away before he could reach his 101st birthday, his legacy lives on and people from all around the world have been participating in the Captain Tom 100 challenge, with the aim of encouraging people to raise money for a charity of their choice.

“Tomorrow will be a good day” – Sir Captain Tom Moore

Sir Captain Tom Moore’s simple message of hope “tomorrow will be a good day” rings poignantly true for us here at the Charlie Watkins Foundation.

Our project work has seen us witness the devastating impact the pandemic is having on young people who have faced isolation and uncertainty following the closure of schools and universities. In fact, more than two thirds of young people have said their mental health got worse during lockdown.

Plus, many without previous experience of mental health challenges have experienced poor mental health during lockdown and have seen their mental health and wellbeing decline.

This is why we are urging our incredible community at the Charlie Watkins Foundation to take part in Sir Captain Tom’s 100 legacy to help us raise £10,000 to continue our vital work with young people struggling with mental health challenges.

100 heroes, £10,000

We are asking 100 heroes to come forward and raise £100 for us.

This could be walking 100 laps of your garden just like Sir Captain Tom and asking friends and family to sponsor you; or you could bake 100 cupcakes to sell at £1 each!

Perhaps you don’t have time to host a fundraiser and would prefer to donate £100. Anything to help us reach our goal would be so appreciated.

Ten thousand pounds will make a huge difference to our partnering charities and it will mean that we can continue our remarkable work of supporting young people’s mental health.

We are already working with Student Minds, the student’s mental health charity and the Youth Enquiry Service (YES) in Essex; both of whom are working tirelessly on our special projects.

Student Minds’ University Mental Health Charter’s student panel has been working on a brief to create the assessment tool to recognise and reward universities that promote good mental health and wellbeing. Plus, YES has been actively working with many school students through the school navigator role.

Our 100 heroes will have pride of place on our Charlie’s Champions page; recognising their phenomenal efforts to help us create change and continue our work.

Get involved!

With depression rates double what they were since the pandemic began, now is the time to act.

No matter how you raise your £100, you have our support and guidance. Feel free to get in touch with us if you are stuck for ideas or you need some advice.

Visit our Captain Tom 100 campaign page to donate your fundraised £100 and earn a spot on our Charlie’s Champions page.

As always, we thank you for your continued support and let us hope that “tomorrow will be a good day”.


Let’s talk loneliness

Following a year of lockdowns and uncertainty, it’s no wonder there is a clear surge in people experiencing loneliness. After all, we are instinctively social beings so when that need is not met, we naturally feel isolated. In this blog we explore the differences between feeling alone and feeling lonely and how you can help those who might be struggling.

In March 2020, the country was sent into lockdown following the rising cases of coronavirus. Two more lockdowns later, we are still in the midst of the pandemic with no obvious route out.

It is a scary and confusing time. We have seen people unable to see family and friends for months on end, with others having to shield themselves away from the rest of the world because the risks of catching the virus were too great.

Understandably there has been a huge rise in loneliness during this time which is in turn contributing to heightened feelings of anxiety and stress.


Feeling alone vs. feeling lonely

Loneliness is a very personal emotion. Everyone’s experience will be different but one thing we do know is that loneliness is not the same as feeling alone.

Some people are very happy to be alone with minimal human contact while others may experience loneliness because of this. Similarly, you could be in a crowded room full of people and still feel lonely.

Loneliness is being unable to connect with someone whereas feeling alone is the physical state of not being with someone else.

Loneliness does not discriminate, and it can have a negative impact on your mental health.


Making connections

Something that can help relieve the feelings of loneliness is making connections. This could be as simple as sending a text to a friend or a random act of kindness.

We would therefore like to encourage all of you to take five minutes out of your day to make a connection this week. Whether it’s to a loved one or someone you have not talked to in a while, you could make someone’s day!


Charlie’s Champions: FAQs

You may have seen on social media that we’re recruiting Charlie’s Champions to volunteer their time to our foundation and become, well, a champion! Take a look at our FAQs of what it involves below.


  1. What exactly is a Charlie’s Champion?

A Charlie’s Champion is someone who has donated their time to the foundation or fundraised for us. It could be that someone has decided to run a marathon in aid of the Charlie Watkins Foundation; or perhaps they are blogging regularly on our website.


  1. I’m busy and I can’t dedicate all my time to the foundation

We understand! Charlie’s Champions can contribute as little or as much time as they’d like to our cause and, if they have no time at all, any donations are most welcome as they go towards funding our vital mental health projects for young people.


  1. I’m not local – can I still become a Champion?

Absolutely! We have Champions from all over the UK. You are more than welcome to organise your own events – we are here to support you so do contact us if you’d like any help with this.


  1. What have Champions done in the past?

All sorts! You can take a look at our current Champions on our website. We have some who have run marathons and others who have hosted virtual wine evenings!

  1. I’m organising an event – how do I let you know?

Feel free to contact us if you are organising your own event. We will support you in whatever way we can; and can also ensure our PR team get the word out on the Charlie Watkins Foundation’s social media pages and the website.


If you have any other questions regarding becoming one of our Champions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

The Charlie Watkins Foundation strives to raise funding for vital projects to help young people across the UK who are facing serious mental health challenges.

With your help, we can continue our vital work and give support to young people who need our help the most.