Our support

During our first three years, we focused our efforts on supporting initiatives like Chat with Charlie, an online counselling service which we are proud to have delivered in partnership with Mid and North East Essex MIND.

As this initiative was coming to an end, and in response to the growing crisis in mental health, we knew that we wanted to extend our support further to other projects across the UK that are helping young people with their mental health.

Project news

Here you will find all the latest news regarding our working partnerships and how the Charlie Watkins Foundation has helped them.

Previous projects

Online mental health service, Chat with Charlie, was open to all students at the University of Essex. It offered a platform in which students were able to chat anonymously to trained volunteers via an online chatroom. 

The service was initially launched as three days a week on the first anniversary of Charlie’s death. The response was phenomenal and showed that there was a need for an anonymous platform where young people can safely talk about their troubles without judgement. It soon increased to seven days a week between 6pm and 10pm, run by trained volunteers from Mid and North East Essex Mind’s office.

Following the success of Chat with Charlie at the University of Essex, the service was rolled out to Writtle University College.

Working partnerships

Essex Community Foundation (ECF) (Reg. Charity No. 1052061)

We are very fortunate to work with Essex Community Foundation who undertake all the administration of CWF.  

This enables us to organise fundraising activities and direct our support to charitable projects helping young people to tackle the mental health challenges they are facing.  We are very grateful for ECF’s ongoing support without which the Foundation would not be where it is today.

Colchester and Tendring Youth Enquiry Service (YES)

Through our successful relationship with Essex Community Foundation, we are pleased to be supporting a new 18-month project run by the Colchester and Tendring Youth Enquiry Service (YES).

YES works with some of the most vulnerable young people and helps to address their emotional needs and mental health problems through counselling, activities and other support.

The charity has a long and successful track record over 30 years and annually supports around 2,000 young people, aged 11 to 19, who are experiencing a range of issues contributing to mental health problems.

These can include homelessness, bereavement, parental separation and divorce, domestic abuse, young pregnancy, bullying, and alcohol and drug dependencies.

Our funding has meant that YES can provide a new project helping young people to access and navigate the right support they need.

Student Minds

We are working with Student Minds in 2021 to further our shared objective of improving the mental health of young people through innovative preventative measures. 

Student Minds is the UK’s student mental health charity. They support students and members of university communities to look after their own mental health, support those around them and create change. They also support universities and students’ unions to work in collaboration with their students to create strategies that consider mental health and wellbeing across every aspect of the university experience. 

To drive change at a national level, they create policy recommendations based on extensive listening to the real experiences of students. Through all their work, they seek to address the biggest gaps in knowledge, and to amplify the voices of students who are most at risk and face the greatest barriers to accessing support. 

The assessment tool we are funding will be co-created with students, empowering them to be part of the assessment process to recognise and reward universities seeking to gain the  Charter Award Scheme accreditation as defined by Student Minds University Mental Health Charter .  To have a voice and put forward recommendations, and improvements that need to be made, and allow them to pinpoint the issues their institutions are not addressing. This will encourage students to talk about the challenges they face at university and how they affect their mental well being.