Transition to university
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Two charities, one goal

In 1997, Charlie Waller took his own life at the age of 28. Twenty years later, 22-year-old Charlie Watkins also took his own life.  Today, both the Charlie Waller Trust and the Charlie Watkins Foundation have come together to launch a nationwide scheme in an effort to support young people at a time in their lives when some can be vulnerable to mental health problems.

Through your vital financial support, we are working with the Charlie Waller Trust to produce a set of transition guides for students from a wide range of backgrounds who are taking the step of going to university in September.

Leaving home for the first time is a big step in a young person’s life, especially those who have little or no experience of being away from their families and friends. This can make them vulnerable to experiencing mental health challenges especially if they don’t have the support network available at university.

These transition guides will focus on a variety of themes including young carers, diversity and inclusivity, care leavers, international students, those with Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) as well as LGBTQ+ students. 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 year we anticipate there will be a much higher number in that group who will need careful guidance because of the pandemic, which has made the potential for anxiety and mental health challenges at university even greater.


What is the Charlie Waller Trust?

The Charlie Waller Trust was founded after Charlie Waller took his own life.

The Trust’s mission is to educate young people and those with responsibility for them – whether that’s parents, carers, education staff or doctors and nurses – about their mental health and wellbeing. They achieve this by providing training to those who are responsible for young people on how to support them throughout their journey from primary school age to the early years of their working lives, recognising the points of transition in that journey that can make them particularly vulnerable. They also provide information and resources to young people and those who care for them.

This year has made the potential for anxiety and mental health challenges at university even greater, following all the difficulties of the pandemic, interrupted learning and cancelled exams.

We are launching the transition guides now, in the hope that they will be valuable in helping vulnerable students to look after their mental wellbeing, to cope with challenges to their mental health and to seek further help should they need it come September.


The Charlie Watkins Foundation – making it possible

We are able to make this project possible by providing funding for the transition guides through donations to the Charlie Watkins Foundation.

We believe we can help to make a real change and, together with the Charlie Waller Trust, provide support to those students taking this huge step in their lives.

To help us fund our project, please consider making a donation. All contributions are greatly appreciated and enable us to support young people with mental health challenges.