Charlie Watkins was only 22 when he took his life in March 2017. Sadly, Charlie never recovered from the tragic loss of his mother when he was only nine years old. Charlie is one of many examples of young people who suffer from mental health challenges today, and the Charlie Watkins Foundation aims to raise funds for partners of the foundation to better support young people who struggle with their mental health and wellbeing.
The Charlie Watkins Foundation is proud to have been awarded a Points of Light Award from the Prime Minister in September 2018.
Get to know us
The Charlie Watkins Foundation has been formed to receive funds in memory of Charlie.
These funds are to be used at the discretion of the foundation to support charities and initiatives whose primary focus is to assist young people with mental health challenges.
Find out more about how we’re helping on our projects page.
Why we work with
the Essex Community
“When Harry and I started the Charlie Watkins Foundation, we focused on raising money in Charlie’s name to support initiatives such as Chat with Charlie, which we are proud to have delivered in partnership with Mid and North East Essex MIND over three years. As this initiative was coming to an end, we knew that we wanted to extend our support to other projects, both local and national, that are helping young adults with their mental health but, how could we best do this?
Registering our own charity meant that we would be responsible for all the financial returns and audit as well as appointing an independent board of trustees. We soon realised that we did not have the expertise, or the time, to run a charity. We were however determined to continue organising fundraising activities in Charlie’s memory, but neither of us where confident that we knew how to find the best projects to support thus ensuring that your donations would be used wisely and for the purposes that we wanted to achieve. This is why we decided to continue to work with Essex Community Foundation (ECF).
ECF is an independent charitable trust that has over 25 years’ experience of managing charitable funds for people and families like us, who for many reasons, want to give something back, but do not have the time or expertise to deal with all the legal requirements of running a charity. ECF’s board of trustees is responsible for the CWF and manages the legal, financial and administrative requirements of running a charity, including data protection. This allows us time to focus on fundraising and building a lasting charitable fund, in Charlie’s name, while minimising the costs and supporting local charities and national initiatives to ensure that young adults keep talking about mental health and have access to support when they need it.
To build on this, Harry and I are delighted to welcome Suzie Haworth with her wealth of experience working in the charitable sector. Suzie is working on our behalf to liaise with ECF to help manage the foundation, grow our communications, support and charitable work. This will enable us to continue our efforts to make a considerable difference to address today’s mental health crisis in young adults.
Mental health in young people
Mental health problems can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, race or social background.
Like anywhere else, the UK faces alarming suicide rates, and almost twice as many males are affected than women.
For the year 2020, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that 6.9 per 100,000 suicide deaths occurred in England between April and June this year.
Provisional data published by the ONS suggested suicide rates have been affected by the pandemic. The pandemic during 2020 took a huge toll on people’s mental health resulting in many being vulnerable to suicide.
It is vitally important that in the years ahead we raise funds to tackle the growing crisis. Any form of support you are able to give will be invaluable to us and greatly appreciated.