The AlescoDA Charlie Watkins Football tournament

The annual 5-a-side football tournament, hosted by AlescoDA, took place on 30th June at Powerleague in Shoreditch. This event sees insurance companies get together to have a friendly football competition and raise money for a very worthy cause.

After a lot of planning, it turned out to be a day filled with sun, fun, food and football.

In total 14 teams competed, with team Atrium coming out on top as Champions!

Harry Watkins was kind enough to come along on the day, educate those who didn’t know the background of the foundation, thank them all for their donations and hand out the winners’ trophies.

Every team paid a donation to secure their space in the match. There was also a raffle with prizes kindly donated by local companies and other colleagues from Gallagher.

Gallagher also have a wonderful charity benefit where they match any money raised, which is great because it doubles our overall total.

To date we have raised £16,020! If you would like to donate, please do so via our Enthuse page.

We would like to thank all the players who took part in the competition and everyone who helped organise and manage this fantastic event.

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Summer

Put yourself first this summer

From picnics to barbecues, it can be hard to keep up with all the fun things to do in the summer months – but you should never let the fear of saying no to an invitation allow for a build up of stress. This summer, we look at why you should put yourself first.

Everyone wants to make the most of the sunshine – after all, it isn’t something we’re always blessed with here in the UK.

One thing we have become good at over the years however is saying yes when we really want to say no.

As such, it can be a minefield navigating your way through your diary when friends, family and colleagues invite you to an event.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

The importance of saying no

In any given week, one in six people in England experience mental ill health – that could be anxiety, depression or low mood.

It is at that time when people need to put themselves and their needs first. Mental health recovery and remediation is a deeply personal experience that shouldn’t be overlooked in favour of pleasing other people.

During busy periods like summer, these difficult decisions can increase significantly. That fear of letting down loved ones can often be overwhelming.

Saying no to allow time to yourself, or to do something else instead, is your right. That time could be better spent doing something you enjoy, or to decompress away from large social groups.

How to say no

It is always important to be polite. But saying no doesn’t mean you are being rude.

There is no need to be assertive, although you should never feel pressurised to justify the reasons behind your decision.

Everyone’s mental health is important and yours should come first when you consider going out of your way to please others.

Likewise, you are always free to change your mind.

So next time you receive an invite to a gathering, stop and think – what do you really want to do?

At the Charlie Watkins Foundation, we keep the legacy of Charlie and his infectious personality alive, supporting young people up and down the UK with their mental health.

If you would like to support us and our mission to improve the nation’s mental health, please consider donating here.

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Charlie Watkins

National Bereaved Parents Day: Remembering Charlie

There is no greater pain in life than to lose a loved one. Saying goodbye to your son is a torture no parent should ever endure. This National Bereaved Parents Day, Tim Watkins, Charlie’s father, shares how the Charlie Watkins Foundation is helping keep his legacy alive.

Charlie was always able to light up the room. His kindness, bubbly personality, beaming smile and catalogue of jokes were infectious. All those amazing traits were even broadcast for the country to see when he appeared on TV.

He had a great relationship with his brother, a beloved group of friends and a bright future ahead of him with a degree from the University of York. Mental ill health took that all away from him. It took him away from us.

We all struggled following the death of Charlie’s mother when he was just nine years old. But none of us knew just how much Charlie was going through until it was too late.

I didn’t know much about mental health and the issues so many of us hide until Charlie’s death. Ever since, the Charlie Watkins Foundation team has worked tirelessly to open up the conversation and raise awareness of the problems we can all face.

It is our job to not only keep his incredible legacy alive, but to drive forward positive change so no family has to endure the pain of losing a loved one to suicide.

Together, we are working to raise awareness about the mental struggles young people face and to improve the support and service provision available to them.

Likewise, we want to show parents who have been through the same pain that no child is ever forgotten.

National Bereaved Parents Day (July 3) is all about that. Both for parents who have lost a child to suicide, or for any other reason, it is a day to show they are not alone.

This year’s theme is “Remember Me”. Be it his whit, his charm or his infectious smile, Charlie and everything that made him who he was will never be forgotten.

We continue to work with our partners – both local and national – to ensure his legacy lives on. If you would like to support us on our mission to improve mental health support for young people, please consider donating to our cause.

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