Charlie Waller News 2021

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WALKIES FOR WELLBEING Getting active for mental health with Andrew, Olive and Mable!

LOOKING AT LONELINESS Tackling its effects on the mind

WELLBEING SUPERHEROES! One school’s bold approach to staying mentally well APRIL 2021 • ISSUE 43

Charlie Waller was a strong, funny, popular, good-looking and kind young man, with a close and loving family. To the outside world, he had everything to live for. Yet in 1997, at the age of 28, Charlie took his own life. He was suffering from depression. In response to this tragedy, his family founded the Charlie Waller Trust, to open up the conversation around depression, and ensure that young people can look after their mental health and spot the signs in others. We have since become one of the UK’s most respected mental health charities. Charlie sits at the heart of our story, our vision and our purpose.

Our mission

Our work

Our approach

Our vision

Our mission is to educate young people – along with parents, carers, teachers, college and university staff, and employers – about their mental health.

We provide mental health training, resources and consultancy to schools, colleges, universities and workplaces. We build partnerships to help create a long-term culture of wellbeing.

We don’t offer direct support to individuals. However, we sponsor the Charlie Waller Institute at the University of Reading, facilitating training in evidence-based psychological treatments and increasing the availability of therapists.

Our vision is of a world where people understand and talk openly about mental health; a world where young people and those who support them are equipped to spot the signs of mental health problems in themselves and others; to maintain and enhance their mental health and wellbeing; and to have the confidence to seek help when they need it.

We aim to give them knowledge and skills to help them support themselves and others, and confidence to talk openly about the subject.

We focus on support for young people throughout their journey from primary school to the early years of their working lives.

Our training is free. The only exception will be our future work with employers, the income from which will be invested in extending our work to support young people.



pr actical

We take a positive approach to mental health. We focus on prevention and early intervention, and recognise the importance of offering hope.

Our consultancy, training and resources are all based on sound clinical evidence.

We give people practical strategies and tools to care for their mental health, and to support others in doing so.

11 We can all be public mental health workers We look at public mental health in these unprecedented times


Regular s 4 Welcome From our Chairman 5 Financial report From our Treasurer 6 News Updates from our CEO 22 Fundraising highlights Celebrating our fundraisers’ achievements

15 An extraoardinary challenge Turning November into Rowvember 16 Looking at loneliness Tackling its psychological effects 19 Book review Michael Priestley reviews Charlie Hoare’s Man Down 20 Wellbeing superheroess Our work with an adventurous Liverpool infant school

Get involved 29 Supporting us How you can help 30 What’s on A look at the diary for 2021



32 Looking for help? Sources of direct help for mental health problems 01635 869754



COVER STORY Andrew Cotter, ambassador for Walkies for Wellbeing

APRIL 2021 • ISSUE 43

Features 20





In WH Davies’ poem 'Leisure', written in 1911, he starts by asking the question “What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare?”. His answer is: a “poor” one. He urges us to find time “to stand beneath the boughs”, which sounds quite nice, but then adds “And stare as long as sheep or cows,” which sounds rather less fun, if not a little weird. But, his timeless advice to make time to notice the beauty of things around us, like seeing “in broad daylight, Streams full of stars, like skies at night” is rather lovely, and perhaps worth remembering as lockdown eases and our busy lives ramp up to full throttle again. Having said that, the work at Charlie Waller has remained near full throttle throughout the pandemic, which is a great tribute to the office team led by our endlessly positive CEO, Clare. Our fundraising income has also held up well, which is down to you, our supporters, for which we are extremely grateful. Our work is more vital now than perhaps ever before, as children and young people face the challenge of dusting themselves down after a horribly uncertain, disruptive and probably rather frightening period in their lives. We are here to help not only children and young people, but those who care for them, whether parents, teachers or employers. We have experts and expert resources ready to help staff, parents and children navigate the huge mental health challenges ahead. Some of you will have seen Roman Kemp’s extremely moving and powerful documentary about the loss of his great friend Joe to suicide called 'Our Silent Emergency'. He sets out to try and understand what happened to his friend and how such tragedies can be avoided in the future. One practical tip that emerges from the short film, 4

which I think is excellent, is that whilst the most important question you can ask a friend is “Are you OK?”, the trick is to ask the question twice in quick succession as it is only on the second time of asking that you are likely to get the truthful answer. Our office in Thatcham may not be the most salubrious office space in West Berkshire, but it is a vibrant and happy place to work, which I know the team have all missed. Hopefully, we will be able to say adieu to Zoom and return to the camaraderie of the physical office before too long. The end of 2020 also saw my mother leave the Thatcham office, or its virtual equivalent, for the last time. As the Trust’s Head of Fundraising, she has grown the Trust’s income exponentially over the years with her unique combination of the personal touch and the determined squeeze. She will be impossible to replace and sorely missed within the fundraising team, but she has left the Trust in great shape, not least with the support of a generous community of loyal friends. She has been appointed as honorary co-president of the charity together with my father in recognition of all they have achieved with and for the Trust. I am delighted to announce that Katie Tait has agreed to join our board of trustees. Katie has worked as a journalist and as a TV producer. She is now communications director at Maggie’s. Katie’s energy, marketing and charity sector expertise make her an invaluable addition to the board. We very much hope that 2021 will see the Trust put on some physical events, not only to raise funds, but to get our supporters and community together. I hope you enjoy the newsletter and thank you again for your support. RICHARD WALLER QC, CHAIRMAN

The unaudited trustees’ Report and Financial Statements for 2020 show that in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic income held up remarkably well and charitable expenditure increased. In my report in the September issue of this newsletter I warned that inevitably income from our own and others’ fundraising events and training-related donations would be likely to be adversely affected for the foreseeable future. This was indeed the case for the remainder of the year and the outlook remains very uncertain. Worst hit were the events organised by our many loyal supporters. They often involve physical challenges which simply were not possible with all the restrictions. Our own fundraising team lost some major events but showed great ingenuity in replacing them with online activities which were tremendously well supported. For most of the year our training courses for universities, colleges, schools and employers had to go online as well. They continued to attract much-needed donations but unsurprisingly at a lower level than normal. It was therefore very timely that we saw a significant increase in income from donations from charitable trusts and from individuals, perhaps in recognition of the growing number of people suffering from poor mental health as a result of the pandemic. With that in mind the trustees proceeded with their plans to increase charitable spending and to prepare the Trust for further expansion by digitalising its operations and rebranding its public profile. At the same time additional staff have been recruited to try to fill the huge gap left by the retirement of Lady Waller as Head of Fundraising, to whom the Trust is hugely indebted for her immense contribution



to its success. I am sure that when the Waller family set it up they could never have imagined that it would grow to the size it is today. 2021 is going to be another challenging year and as ever the trustees are acutely aware that almost all the Trust’s income is given voluntarily and that it cannot be taken for granted. They are therefore tremendously grateful to all those who continue to support its work. The modest investment losses I reported in September have all been recovered. In setting the budget for 2021 the trustees have made reasonable and prudent assumptions as to income but have planned a material increase in charitable expenditure on the basis that the resultant deficit will be funded from reserves. The trustees’ Report and Financial Statements for 2020 will be approved by the trustees and filed with the Charity Commission by the end of May. Further details will be given in the next newsletter but if you would like a copy please contact the Trust’s office or email ROBIN BOOTH FCA TREASURER

A HUGE THANK YOU! Now, more than ever, we are hugely grateful to our Fundraising Committee for helping to keep our income strong. As mentioned in the last newsletter we have recently said goodbye to Sue Shenkman and Louise Black; Booie de Selincourt and Imy Barrow have also retired after many years of sterling work. Enormous thanks to Mia West who has taken on the role of Chair. •




After the dual challenges of winter weather and social restrictions, most of us are relieved there is now a roadmap out of lockdown. The difficulties we have all experienced, from isolation to financial worries, the stress of home-schooling and worry about elderly relatives, may have taken their toll on our mental health. For those with existing mental health issues, times will have been particularly tough. We know children and young people have been affected in different ways by the pandemic and there are serious concerns about their mental wellbeing. However, the popular narrative of a ‘lost generation’ can mean we lose focus on what’s needed: well-funded, evidence-based treatment when required, and good training and support for those with responsibility for young people, including parents, carers, teachers and health professionals. Children take their cues from the adults around them so it’s incredibly important that we convey hope and optimism in our work with them – it can have a truly positive and empowering effect. CLARE STAFFORD CHIEF EXECUTIVE


A WARM WELCOME The workplace programme It is a pleasure to welcome Abigail Hirshman as our new Workplace Programme Director. Abigail started her career in crisis counselling before moving into counselling in the higher education sector. She joined ACAS in 2015 and created the ACAS Tripartite Model for Mental Health at Work. Abigail is a highly experienced trainer and consultant, and her knowledge spans policy, practice and research. Abigail and the workplace trainer team are developing a paid-for model of training for the workplace that we can use in our offer to corporates. We will use the income from this to provide more free mental health training in schools, colleges and universities as they educate the workforce of the future. We are expecting an increased demand for training in the workplace as employers are becoming more worried about the mental health of their employees, especially while they are working from home. A particular concern is the mental health of young people in the workplace and providing support for that will be a key feature of our bespoke offer to employers. We’re delighted, too, to have appointed four new trainers to our Workplace Programme: Sarah Duggan is an accredited organisational psychologist and has worked across a variety of sectors, including professional services, retail financial

Sarah Duggan Trainer

Tracy Wright Trainer


Abigail Hirshman Workplace Programme Director

Stella’s work has a strong focus on young people’s mental health, with applications across the life span. She is the founder of Project Soothe, a global citizen science project that has collected soothing images from around the world. More than 100 young citizen scientists are currently co-producing wellbeing tools with the research team to promote young people’s mental health using the soothing images. We’ll be telling you more about this in a future edition.

The office team

Dean Capon Trainer

Mike Oliver Trainer

Professor Stella Chan Charlie Waller Institute

services and the NHS, where she was responsible for employee wellbeing and talent development initiatives. Tracy Wright is a cognitive behavioural psychologist and coach, experienced in managing both child and adult psychology services in the NHS, charity and private sectors. Her special interests are organisational leadership, workplace mental health, and developing mental health cultures within organisations. Dean Capon works as an integrative, compassion-focused counsellor, coach and personal consultant in private practice, following a long, senior career with Roche. He’s passionate about helping individuals and organisations engage with and alleviate their barriers to growth, wellbeing, mental health and productivity. Mike Oliver is a chartered psychologist and registered health psychology practitioner, specialising in workplace health and wellbeing. He has experience of the commercial sector as well as running his own business and is a published author in ‘taking breaks at work’.

Charlie Waller Institute We also welcome Professor Stella Chan, who has taken up the post as Chair in Evidence-based Psychological Treatments for CWI at the University of Reading. For the previous eight years Stella was an academic clinical psychologist at the University of Edinburgh, while remaining clinically active at the local NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.

A warm welcome to Natalie Norris, Martha Lee-Harris and Kirsty Osborn who have all recently joined the Charlie Waller office team. Natalie joins us as Trusts and Grants Fundraising Officer. She has a background in events and has spent the last two years working in the Special Events Team at The Brain Tumour Charity, where she developed a love of fundraising for charities. Martha is our new Training and Evaluation Assistant. Martha has a range of experience developing and delivering extra-curricular education projects and is dedicated to helping young people through this work. Kirsty joins the team as our Office Assistant. Kirsty has almost 10 years’ experience in office environments, and, like Martha and Natalie, is passionate about spreading the knowledge of mental health and wellbeing in children and young people.

Natalie Norris

Martha Lee-Harris

Kirsty Osborn

AU REVOIR TO ELINA We are sorry to say that Elina Nesimioglu, our Fundraising Manager, left the Trust in February. A combination of COVID and Brexit led Elina and her husband to decide to relocate to the Netherlands, where she is working for their Make A Wish Foundation. It’s a great opportunity for her but a huge loss to the team. •

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At the end of last year, we were given additional funding to develop a course for parents to become peer supporters for other parents struggling to cope with their child’s mental health issues. There’s nothing like being able to talk to people who have been through what you are going through, and this course will provide a professional foundation that equips parents with the basic skills and knowledge of children’s and young people’s mental health. At Charlie Waller we strongly believe that health and social services need to employ parents as a valuable part of their workforce. There’s a lot that they can do, particularly in the early stages, and their support will add to the existing statutory services. You may have read in the last edition about our rapidly expanding national network of parent support groups and training workshops, known as the PLACE Network. This work continues to grow and we are now seeking funding to provide regular clinical supervision to parents leading support groups, having received generous funding for a pilot supervision scheme from Hampstead Counselling Service.

Ann Cox Clinical supervisor

Monica Cru-Hall Clinical supervisor

SUPPORTING CHILDREN WITH ANXIETY Supporting a child who is experiencing high levels of anxiety can be worrying for parents and carers. They often find it hard to understand the logic of their child’s behaviour and the choices they make, especially during adolescence. We’ve produced a free downloadable guide, ‘Supporting a child with anxiety’, that helps 8

parents understand anxiety more clearly and begin to address it. As well as practical ideas for children, the guide also offers suggestions for parents on how they can support themselves. You can download the guide at supporting-a-child-with-anxiety

JONATHAN’S VOICE – A RESOURCE FOR SENIOR PATENT ATTORNEYS In any organisation, managers are key to creating a good environment for mental health and wellbeing. However, in some industries, such as the trademark and patent profession, stress levels and pressure on individuals appear to be particularly high. In response to this, we have been continuing our collaboration with the charity Jonathan’s Voice, which was set up in memory of Jonathan, a patent attorney who took his own life. We have produced a new resource to help senior leaders within the industry support mental health and wellbeing within their companies. The guide is available to download from our website at


Colleges play a crucial role in educating people from disadvantaged groups who may be more vulnerable to mental health problems. The Trust’s partnership with the Association of Colleges is going from strength to strength.


People with severe mental illness are likely to die up to 25 years earlier than the general population. Research shows that 75% of these cases are caused by preventable physical illnesses. To help address this shocking situation, Charlie Waller has joined forces with NHS England, NHS Improvement South East and Health Education England. Our Nurse Lead, Dr Sheila Hardy, has led the production of free online training for primary care professionals, who are in a prime position to help reduce these unnecessary deaths, through annual physical health checks. Sheila says: “It is incredibly sad that every year many people with severe mental illness are dying from preventable physical illnesses. “We hope that this online training will enable healthcare professionals to access the information they need to provide ongoing support to those individuals who need it, and in turn reduce preventable illnesses and deaths.”


Our latest joint initiative is a guide for college staff, many of whom have raised concerns about student suicide, feeling they were not always well equipped to respond. Written by Dr Andrew Reeves, Kirsten Amis and Kath Caffrey, Charlie Waller experts on the subject, we hope the new resource will build confidence amongst the whole college community to talk openly about suicide, to know what to do in any given situation and help to keep everyone safe in challenging times.


Our mental health experts have been producing new online guides and videos to help everyone take care of their mental health. The videos, free for anyone to watch, include Managing Stress in Today’s World and Mental Health in the Workplace. We’ve also adapted many of our leaflets so the information they contain can be easily read online. The information section on our website is designed to be searched by different groups, such as parents, students, teachers and employers. Topics include anxiety, Coronavirus and mental health, and mental wellbeing. Each section provides relevant downloadable resources, some of which can also be ordered as hard copies. Our trainers have delivered a lot of content by webinar over the last year and we’re adding their highly informative and insightful videos to the website with a summary of the key points for those who don’t have time to watch the whole video.

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Caroline was a wonderful supporter of the Trust who generously devoted her time and enthusiasm to the Trust’s London Fundraising Committee. After her death last summer, her friends and family held a fundraising bike ride that will fund two scholarships at the Charlie Waller Institute within the University of Reading. The purpose of the scholarship is to train therapists in high intensity psychological treatments. We’re delighted that psychology student Hewa Khalilifar has won the first scholarship. She says: “I felt a career as a therapist would allow me to continue learning about human nature, to hear other people’s stories, and ultimately be of service to others. I want to be the person that I needed back when I was in a difficult place. “Sometimes it’s as simple as telling someone that it’s OK for them to feel the intensity of emotion and confusion, and convincing them that you believe they Hewa Khalilifar have the ability to endure Scholarship recipient and overcome."


The Trust is proud to support and part-fund Boys in Mind, Girls Mind Too, based in Bath and North East Somerset Boys in Mind aims to improve the mental health of boys and young men by addressing and understanding the particular barriers they face. One of their latest projects is a film, ‘Black Lives Matter’, made by young people in partnership with Black Families Education Support Group and B&NES Council, in response to the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement. The result is an incredibly powerful, moving and important piece which explores the racism and trauma experienced and observed by five young people. They discuss the lasting effects of racism, the importance of the BLM movement and what they feel needs to happen in the future, including in schools. 10

Eli Green, Youth Advisor at Boys in Mind and Project Lead for the film, said: “We are starting to see meaningful action taking place in schools to create an environment every young person deserves. We can only progress if we treat each other equally.” Watch the film here: black-lives-matter/


Whilst many people have had to continue going to their normal place of work throughout the pandemic – frontline workers, for instance – others have had to get used to working from home. Our new online guide offers a physical and psychological return-to-work plan for those who may feel anxious about returning to their normal place of work. There will be some people who can’t wait to get back into the social environment of their workplace. Other people will need to feel physically safe (from catching coronavirus) before they can fully contribute at work. Some people may have never actually met their colleagues, particularly if they have joined during lockdown. Remember how hard the first days in a new job can feel! The guide offers practical tips on what employers can do to help reduce anxiety. You can find it here: information/coronavirus-mental-health/ return-to-work-anxiety


WE CAN ALL BE PUBLIC MENTAL HEALTH WORKERS This past year, public mental health has been under the spotlight as perhaps never before. Clare Laker offers personal and professional insights into what it means. I work in a local authority public health team. When I told people this a year ago, they would ask “What does that mean?”. I would explain that my role related to children and young people’s health and that I support work to promote public mental health. They would look blank! Now, a year on, everyone has heard of public health and everybody is talking about mental health. When I say what I do now, people just reply “You must be busy.” In the 2019 report 'What Good Looks Like' by the Association of Directors of Public Health, the authors explain that public mental health is a population-based approach to improving mental health and wellbeing. It encompasses primary (or universal) prevention – for example antistigma campaigns such as Mental Health Awareness Week; secondary prevention – providing targeted support to those at higher risk of mental health problems; and tertiary prevention – helping people who are living with mental health problems to stay well.


Work such as Charlie Waller’s can promote mentally healthy schools, universities, and workplaces. Education staff can receive training to help them understand mental health issues and support young people better, and school nurses and counsellors can provide one-to-one support. Websites, podcasts and apps can also be helpful sources of support and information at this level. For those who need more help, early intervention services supplement the important work of local Children & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) providers, supporting people as they step down from in-patient care. Early intervention services include support for looked after children, those with special educational needs, those who have been bereaved and LGBT young people, as well as online and talking therapies.

We all have mental health; sometimes it can be flourishing, sometimes it languishes

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Basically, public mental health is the same as public health as a whole: a discipline that aims to stop people becoming ill in the first place, helps prevent early symptoms from escalating and supports people in recovery. Specifically, it includes the following actions in relation to whole populations: • Promoting good mental health and wellbeing • Preventing mental health problems • Preventing suicide and alleviating mental distress • Improving the lives of people living with mental health problems


Three broad truths underpin all public health work, including mental health.

Public health truth #1: our mental health fluctuates Firstly, our health is not static. We all have mental health; sometimes it can be flourishing, sometimes it languishes; and what impacts my wellbeing may not have the same effect on yours. Some of us experience mental ill health which, if treated and managed, need not damage our lives. All of us experience difficult feelings, periods of low mood and normal anxiety and sadness relating to common life events.

sort of mental health issue but many who had 'behavioural problems'! The impact of adverse childhood experiences on mental health was never mentioned. Now I realise that those children who were always in detention were struggling socially and emotionally. Today their teachers would be talking about their mental health needs and although sometimes help isn’t as available as we would like, thank goodness attitudes and understanding have changed.

Public health truth #2: our mental health is often outside our control Students of public health will be familiar with the Dahlgren and Whitehead (1991) rainbow model of health determinants (see opposite). This acknowledges that our lifestyles affect our health and that there are strategies we can use that can radically improve or damage our wellbeing.

Helping young people manage normal changes of mood

Being active, being outdoors, having hobbies, connecting with friends and helping others can all boost our spirits. Conversely, risky lifestyle choices can lead to low mood that may escalate into something more serious. But ultimately the model acknowledges that our health outcomes are fundamentally the result of things external to us.

When you are young these are hard to bear but there is a lot we can do to help children and young people manage these natural feelings before we give them a medical diagnosis of depression and anxiety.

As with our physical health, our genetic make-up, gender, age, ethnicity, our childhood experiences, education, relationships and community networks, our living and working conditions, income,

Today there is an assumption that the mental wellbeing of the nation’s under-18s is worse than it ever has been. It is true there are many new pressures on them, maybe from social media, certainly from our education system, but 2017 data from the Office of National Statistics suggests that for England the increase over a 10+ year period was not actually that great. What then has changed? In the 1980s I began my professional life as a secondary school teacher in a Bristol comprehensive. I can only think of one child who had any 12

Those children who spent day in and day out doing detentions were struggling socially and emotionally


local services and infrastructures, political decisions and social policy all play their part in how robust our mental health is throughout our lives.

Working with policy makers Public mental health is concerned with this broad spectrum of determinants and so must work with a wide range of partners and policy makers, constantly prompting them to consider how what they do impacts upon the population’s mental health. For children and young people this means thinking about ante-natal care, early years experiences, what happens when they start school, how and where they play, how parents and carers are supported to nurture them, what our exam systems look like, how we support young adults into work and building strong and safe communities.

Public health truth #3: social inequality impacts our mental health Our propensity to be healthy both physically and mentally is riddled with inequality. For sure money does not make you happy, but your postcode is a good indicator of your life expectancy, and economic hardship brings many hurdles that make maintaining your emotional equilibrium very hard indeed.

Those who face the greatest disadvantages in life also face the greatest risks to their mental health

Just like adults, children and young people from all walks of life experience poor mental health but for those whose parents and carers experience social deprivation the challenges are immense, often overlooked and not championed. Consider suicide rates amongst young people. Of course, the number of suicides amongst university students is a tragedy that hits the headlines and breaks our hearts but what of the even higher rate of death by suicide amongst young people who don’t go on to higher education? These continue to be less well reported.

The relationship between deprivation and mental wellbeing operates in two directions A hill to climb The Mental Health Foundation report (2020) 'Tackling social inequalities to reduce mental health problems' talks about a social gradient in mental health, stating “those who face the greatest disadvantages in life also face the greatest risks to their mental health”. The Marmot Review ‘Fair Society, Healthy Lives’ (2020) highlighted such inequality, tracing its insidious impact from the point of conception onwards. As Mark Rowland, CEO of the Mental Health Foundation, comments: “Socially disadvantaged children and adolescents are two to three times more •

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likely to develop mental health problems. We owe it to them to act, collectively and individually, to reduce social and economic inequalities and their mental health effects, so that everyone has an opportunity to have good mental health and to flourish.” What is happening to children during the pandemic illustrates this well. It was brought home to me whilst walking my dog recently. I bumped into a fellow dog walker whose son’s year 9 group had been sent home to self-isolate due to a positive case in their bubble. The dad remarked how great it was as his son was getting almost one-to-one attention in the remote lessons as it was “unbelievable how many kids just did not bother to turn up to online classes’”. My blood pressure increased a little and I gently suggested it might be easier for some children to learn online than others. Not everyone has the space, the equipment, or parents who are working at home and able to be supportive. This basic inequality not only impacts the young person now; the consequences of the increasing divide will be felt into the future.

Vicious circle Finally, on the point of mental health inequality, it is important to note there is a ‘double whammy’ here, as the relationship between deprivation and mental wellbeing operates in two directions: being poor can bring about mental health problems, but mental health problems can also lead people into poverty due to discrimination in employment and reduced ability to work. How society tackles this and other social conundrums is the role of public health.


I started this piece saying that Covid-19 has increased the public’s awareness and understanding of public health. It has also highlighted the importance of public mental health. The Local Government Association report (2020) 'Public mental health and wellbeing and COVID-19' suggests the impact of the virus has been both immediate (for the duration of the epidemic) and is likely to continue longer term. Children and young people may experience anxiety caused by concerns about the outbreak and possible illness, loneliness and 14

You are probably already a public mental health worker friendship problems caused by self-isolation and social distancing, stress caused by adjusting to new routines and fears about the future. In the longer term they are also the generation who will be adults in the pandemic’s aftermath. The consequences of this are likely to mean increased demand on local government and the NHS. The solution requires a whole systems approach with statutory services such as schools and health care, the voluntary and community sector coming together to provide neighbourhood action. As you have got to end of this piece I am pretty confident this is something that matters to you. You too can be and probably are already a public mental health worker. You are an essential cog in the wheel for bringing about the change we need. You can do this through your work but equally through how you live your life and support the people dear to you. Keep going. To conclude let me share a few lines from a poem I recently discovered:

“Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.” Go to the Limits of Your Longing by Rainer Maria Rilke


ONE EXTRAOARDINARY CHALLENGE The ‘oars’ may have been mechanical but the rowing was very real in the Shiplake College Rowvember Challenge. Last year Charlie Waller speaker Dick Moore gave an online talk about the importance of teenage emotional and mental health at Shiplake College in Oxfordshire. It inspired the College to launch a ‘Rowvember’ Challenge, encouraging staff, pupils, parents and the wider local community to row 250 metres in support of the Trust. The event, which ran throughout November, asked participants to donate £2.50 when they completed the challenge. In total, over £4,000 was raised. Dick finished his talk with the following advice to the pupils: “If I could ask one thing of you it would be this. When you are next feeling down or lonely or fed up or overwhelmed, talk to someone.” Shiplake College Headmaster, Tyrone Howe, said: "I have been aware of the Charlie Waller Trust for a number of years and have huge admiration for the support and education it gives to young people. “More than ever before, our pupils are being challenged by uncertainty and insecurity, and it is vital that we maintain our positive attitude and hopes for the future, and try to turn challenge into opportunity.

“I am a big believer that physical wellbeing has an enormous benefit for our mental state. As an elite rowing school, we want to use our particular strengths to help others and also have fun and connect as a school community.” Shiplake is nationally renowned for rowing, with current and former pupils representing Great Britain, including Olympic gold medallists Will Satch and Ben Hunt-Davis. More than half the school completed the challenge, with the fastest time set at 39.0 seconds by the Captain of Boats Dan Hallsworth. Clare Stafford, Charlie Waller CEO, said: “We are tremendously grateful to all the students, staff and parents of Shiplake College for their marvellous Rowvember challenge. To have raised over £4,000 in these difficult times is an inspirational achievement. Not only have they raised this wonderful sum of money – the challenge has also helped raise awareness of our work and to underline our message that taking regular physical exercise is a great way for everyone to look after their mental health.”

I am a big believer that physical wellbeing has an enormous benefit for our mental state •





The field of loneliness research has really exploded in recent years. The last 12 months, in particular, has put loneliness in the media spotlight, as the pandemic has proved mentally challenging for many of us. Prof. Roz Shafran, Charlie Waller Trustee and Professor of Translational Psychology at the UCL Institute of Child Heath, takes a closer look at loneliness, ways in which we can support young people and some of the psychological interventions that may help.

almost half of UK adults feel occasionally, sometimes or often lonely in England; this equates to over 25 million people. The associated health risks are considerable: loneliness, living alone and poor social connections are as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and research has found that loneliness is likely to increase your risk of death by as much as 26%. Loneliness also seems to affect younger and older people disproportionately: those aged under 25 years and over 65 are most at risk.

Loneliness – a national concern

Two sides of loneliness

The coronavirus pandemic temporarily severed many of our most trusted and valued social connections. It caused our whole nation to withdraw into their homes, to become largely reliant on technology for daily life and to limit direct contact with others. Feelings of loneliness have also been compounded for many by health and money worries.

A vast umbrella review with over 745,000 participants and 795 studies has emphasised the strong relationship between loneliness and mental health problems: it found that loneliness is significantly associated with suicide attempts and depressive symptoms and revealed that age, gender, socioeconomic status and the quality of social contacts all play a role in loneliness.

Yet loneliness was a big societal concern before Covid came along. This is likely still to be the case long after a sense of 'normality' has returned to our lives. It’s also a much bigger issue than you might expect, in a world that has, in some ways, never been more connected. While loneliness is difficult to measure, the Campaign to End Loneliness reports that 16

Loneliness is, essentially, a two-sided issue. On the one hand, there are the internal psychological factors to consider. These include, but are not limited to, attitudes to participating in social interactions, beliefs about other people and our own beliefs about ourselves. All these feelings and beliefs, mostly played out in our own heads, can

A host of external factors can be found on the other side of the coin, varying from person to person. For some, loneliness could be caused by living far away from family and friends, having few people locally with whom to spend time in person, in deep, long-term relationships. For others, loneliness may arise following a bereavement or another significant life event, leading to a withdrawal or disconnectedness from the wider world. It’s difficult to separate these two aspects of loneliness; they interact and, in many instances, overlap. Research into loneliness, to date, has largely been siloed, tending to concentrate on one side of the issue at a time. Yet it’s vital to bring together the interweaving relationship between individual psychological factors and external environmental factors as it is the combination of these that gives us the whole picture.

Loneliness is significantly associated with suicide attempts and depressive symptoms Loneliness could also be understood as falling into two different categories: emotional and social. Emotional loneliness occurs when an individual has an absence of a confidant or trusted persons to turn to during a crisis. Social loneliness looks at the broader circumstances a person may find themselves in, specifically a lack of social integration and embeddedness in the world around them. The key to growing and maintaining positive mental health and preventing psychological distress is to ensure that feelings of both emotional and social loneliness are successfully overcome.

Positive interventions can make a difference


contribute towards a perception that we are not fully connected with the people and communities that surround us, or that we are not valued.

There are proven ways in which feelings of loneliness can be positively challenged – interventions that can help someone who is struggling to feel more connected with others. One of the most widely cited studies into loneliness found that enhancing social support, improving social skills, increasing opportunities for social contact and addressing negative thought patterns (maladaptive social cognition) all helped to reduce loneliness. The study broadly revealed that the most successful interventions are psychological.

Loneliness in young people 75% of all mental health problems begin before the age of 18, so trying to look at loneliness amongst young people is clearly critical to preventing the development of mental health problems in later life. Reviews into how to alleviate loneliness in young people are beginning to gather momentum, and as we emerge from the grip

The six key categories of intervention A 2016 Health & Social Care in the Community study identified six key categories of intervention that could have a positive impact on feelings of loneliness and social isolation:

Facilitating social interactions Befriending Psychological therapies Health and social care provision




Leisure/skill development Continues p18 •



of the pandemic, there will be a lot of work needed to explore and understand the role that loneliness has had on our young people – and how best to overcome this. A psychological intervention to combat loneliness that has grown in popularity in recent years has been mindfulness training. Based on social psychology rather than clinical psychology, studies have shown that

Loneliness toolkit Information for adults who support young people The University of Bath, University of Manchester, and University College London have worked together to produce a toolkit on loneliness and reconnection, for adults who support young people. It includes useful pointers about loneliness… • Loneliness is normal – almost everyone will be affected by it at some point in their life • It is not just sadness – it can include anger, pain and frustration • Loneliness can be a response to wanting more friends or closer relationships • It’s not always about being on our own – we can sometimes feel lonely in the company of others. …and things that might help:

Talk about loneliness – open up the space so it’s okay for young people to say they’re lonely

Don’t dismiss or minimise loneliness

Explore what loneliness means and the forms it can take

Understand that young people may need space and time to (re)learn to be with each other

You can download the full toolkit here: loneliness-reconnection-guide.pdf


mindfulness can not only increase mental stability but also improve overall wellbeing. Meta-analyses also support the use of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Delivered either face-to-face or digitally, CBT techniques can help to effectively address a range of mental health difficulties that are linked to loneliness, including social anxiety, depression, panic disorder and insomnia. A two-year study has explored internetadministered CBT for loneliness, with reductions in loneliness reported posttreatment, although studies have not, to date, focused specifically on reducing loneliness in young people more generally. We need to think about how to engage with and support the hard-to-reach when it comes to our young people, especially as we move forward into the ‘new normal’, and consider the use of digital interventions when face-to-face support is not feasible or desirable. So, as we emerge from the pandemic, will we begin to see greater strides made in tackling the issue of loneliness, especially amongst our young people? The challenge now is to ensure that someone who is socially anxious or depressed can have the opportunity to work with psychologists, counsellors and clinicians in a manner and environment that is comfortable to them. We need to create more safe spaces and opportunities to talk about and tackle loneliness together. Loneliness can be addressed, but it’s the sum of the parts that makes a difference: theorybased psychological techniques need to be combined with research evidence, clinical expertise and people’s real lived experiences. While it is encouraging to see great enthusiasm for, and research undertaken into the effectiveness of, a range of psychological interventions, it’s apparent that when it comes to loneliness, there isn’t a one-size-fitsall approach and that interventions need to be tailored to the individual.

References Gardiner C, Geldenhuys G, Gott M. Interventions to reduce social isolation and loneliness amongst older people: an integrative review. Health & Social Care in the Community 2016 doi: 10.1111/hsc.12367 J Holt-Lunstad, TB Smith, M Baker, T Harris, D Stephenson. Perspectives on psychological science 10 (2), 227-237

MAN DOWN by Charlie Hoare Michael Priestley, Student Coordinator for the Trust, reviews Charlie Hoare’s guide for men on mental health. As a man with lived experience of mental health difficulties, I found Man Down a particularly helpful and interesting read. This latest book from wellbeing consultant Charlie Hoare combines insights from personal experience of navigating mental health challenges and professional services, with evidence-based tools, tips, and techniques to look after your mental health. Blended together, it helps to challenge the gendered expectations, misconceptions, and stigma around mental health, whilst increasing knowledge and understanding of mental health difficulties, self-care, and support services. It is accessible, simple and practical; readers may wish to ‘dip in and out’ of it or read it from cover to cover – it lends itself to both. The book’s underlying message is clear: open up, be vulnerable, and share with others. Chapter One explains how the societal expectations that "boys have to be tough, taking life’s adversities on the chin, and not show weakness" can undermine men’s ability to deal with emotions, fuel unhealthy coping strategies, and compromise mental and physical health, self-care, and help-seeking. Reversing the narrative Man Down reverses this traditional narrative of male strength and weakness: "Being vulnerable is being human", Charlie advises, "and having the strength to admit you are struggling is a sign of strength in your character...We need to try to accept how we feel, open up about our emotions, and encourage our friends to do the same, to build authentic, supportive, and emotionally healthy relationships with ourselves and others."

Chapters Two and Three aim to increase this awareness and understanding of common mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders, as well as PTSD, psychosis and OCD. Chapter Four provides practical, evidence-based tips to manage and maintain good mental health – including, exercise, sleep, mindfulness, diet, routine, and positive affirmation – whilst Chapter Five shares advice and information on when, how, and where to get professional help. Ending the vicious circle The book’s account of the circular relationship between depression, isolation, and distraction particularly resonated with my own experience and helped me reflect on my own coping strategies. Ashamed to open up or determined to resolve problems alone, men can repress, internalise, and avoid difficult emotions until they become even more unmanageable. Like Charlie, "if I’m not busy doing something, I have to face myself, and I don’t always like what I see." I would have loved to hear more of Charlie’s advice on how to open up. In repressing emotions, men don’t always develop a vocabulary to understand and talk about these feelings. So even when we want to share, it can feel like trying to speak a foreign language! Nonetheless, a great read to understand more about men’s mental health which I would strongly recommend. •






WELLBEING SUPERHEROES! Turning the ‘Five ways to wellbeing’ into a team of superheroes is such a good idea, we wish we’d thought of it ourselves! Credit must go, however, to a Liverpool infant school which has been working with Charlie Waller trainer, Zoe Woodworth. Claire Gilroy is the Assistant Head at Forefield Infant School in Liverpool. Amongst many other things, she is responsible for personal development, behaviour and welfare in the school. Claire initially contacted the Charlie Waller Trust because she was looking for support with staff training around mental health. We introduced her to one of our mental health trainers, Zoe Woodworth, who discussed with her what approach she would like to take to the staff training. In the event, Zoe delivered much more than Claire originally envisaged: as well as a staff training session, she provided a session for parents and governors, an assembly for the

I used emojis and graphics rather than words to represent thoughts and feelings 20

whole school and a one-day youth mental health first aid course for governors and staff. Claire says: “Mental health and wellbeing have always been a key part of our school culture but since Zoe’s visits, they’re now firmly embedded within our school community.”

Forefield Five superheroes It was Claire who came up with the idea of the ‘Forefield Five’ superheroes, who represent the five ways to look after your mental health as recommended by the NHS: connect - Captain Connect; be active - Active Man; keep learning - Lightning Learner; give to others - Go Go Give; and take notice - Mindful Mystique. Claire even knitted the characters so that they took a physical form in the classroom. Now the children are learning to become superheroes themselves. The children are aged four to seven, so Zoe had to tailor her training to a particularly young audience. She explains: “There needed to be lots of participation and I used emojis and graphics rather than words to represent thoughts and feelings. I asked them lots of questions about what they thought the faces were showing and we agreed it can be hard sometimes to read emotions.”


Zoe used the Forefield Five to discuss the five ways to wellbeing and how the children could implement them every day. Now the children are learning to be superheroes, the teachers can ask them, for example, “How have you been Active Man today?”

Lockdown challenge Zoe delivered the training before lockdown but, as Claire explains, the school was able to respond to lockdown with a focus on mental health. “We launched a Forefield Five lockdown challenge, which was a selection of challenges linked to each of our superheroes with a focus on boosting wellbeing. The children and parents responded well to this and sent us emails showing the challenges they had completed.” Zoe also ran mental health awareness sessions for both teachers and parents and introduced them to the concept of the superheroes, which went down really well. She spent a day delivering mental health first aid training to the school’s governors and wellbeing team, which includes teachers, teaching assistants and lunchtime supervisors; in her words, a “brilliant way to link up all the school’s services”. The day focussed on equipping them with more skills to support a child or young person in distress, as well as materials the teachers could add to their lesson plans,

Everyone involved with the school is now much better equipped to support the children which incorporated ways to back up the superheroes concept. Zoe also made a point of emphasising the importance of their own self-care, so that they are better able to support others. Claire believes that everyone involved with the school is now much better equipped to support the children, particularly during and after the long summer lockdown: "Parents who attended Zoe’s training were very positive and said they felt it was one of the most important parent workshops they had completed, giving them a better understanding of how to support their children. For children returning to school after lockdown, we delivered lessons to support wellbeing and this was supported by excellent teacher knowledge. We also delivered transition workshops to parents around how to deal with anxieties about returning to school and reminded them how to use the Forefield Five to support this.” Zoe is delighted that the school has taken such a positive and proactive approach. She says: “Everything they do breathes what the Charlie Waller Trust is about and the amount they got involved is amazing. I learnt so much from them too – it’s why I keep doing what I do.” •



FUNDRAISING HIGHLIGHTS With the help of our wonderful supporters, we have continued to adapt our fundraising to changing circumstances. Our virtual Carol Service in December was extremely well received, as was our new Fit4Feb challenge, which had over 400 sign-ups and raised £10,000. We’ve been told it provided some great motivation for people during lockdown. Early March saw the launch of an exciting new project, Master the Art of Painting, a series of online sessions taught by professional artists with the aim to inspire people to get creative and support mental health. Fortunately, the updated roadmap out of lockdown is now giving us the chance to start planning in-person events, starting with our annual Texas Scramble golf tournament in May. This is the first fundraising report since Rachel Waller’s retirement and our fundraising team and amazing supporters are committed to building on her tremendous success. Natalie Norris has joined the team as Trusts and Grants Fundraising Officer, a hugely important role – I’m sure you’ll all join me in welcoming her to Charlie Waller. Thank you, as always, for your incredible support. GEORGIE MILES FUNDRAISING MANAGER


Sporting fixtures have been harder to organise during the pandemic but our supporters haven’t let it hold them back.

Texas scramble Ascot, Henley, Wimbledon, Glastonbury, The Great Dorset Steam Fair: one by one the sporting and cultural gatherings of 22

Thank you to ALL our supporter s

the English summer were torpedoed by the plague year 2020. But it would take more to stop the Trust’s annual golf day, now in its 22nd year. Ever agile, the team rescheduled between resurgent spikes and we gathered once again at Badgemore Park, magnificently lent by John Connell whose support for the Trust has been steadfast over two decades and more. Golf was one of the few activities still permitted. That is because it is essentially anti social. ‘A good walk spoiled’ doesn’t get near it. Hours carrying a heavy bag of implements, whose purpose you dimly recollect; tramping heather, wood and bog in search of the ball you just bought, while thinking bloody thoughts about the futility of everything. You spend most of the time alone, gathering briefly beside the cup, to pretend to enjoy your opponent’s prowess. But it’s all for a good cause. So this year our team selected one Jason Bateman, new to this tournament and with a handicap of just two. The OED tells me that ‘ringer’ is a horse racing term — referring to the practice of fraudulently substituting in a faster horse. But this was all above board. And what a pleasure it was to see the game played properly. At the 22nd time of asking, our non-playing captain John Weatherby collected the trophy. Another with a perfect attendance record at this event was Tim Billington, a stalwart supporter of the Trust, whose Wimbledon debentures featured as star prizes at so many auctions. Very sadly Tim died last year. His brother, Tony Billington, spoke movingly about Tim and his contribution to the work of the Trust. Not all Covid work-arounds should be jettisoned if and when ‘normality’ returns. Lunch al fresco on the Club’s terrace is surely a keeper. Happily we don’t have to wait a full year for the 23rd renewal of this essential event. See you all back at Badgemore in May. IAIN WEATHERBY

We held an online tournament from October to the end of December for our many bridgeplaying supporters. Players were asked to set up a game of Chicago bridge or rubber bridge with friends, either online or, where permitted, face to face. There were prizes for those scoring the highest after either playing three Chicagos or up to three rubbers. Penny Burgess won the Chicago competition, with Puff Bigland coming second. Juliet Nissen won the rubber bridge and Jeremy Irvin came second and the tournament raised over £4,000, for which we are hugely grateful.

Huntercombe golf day The Captain and Lady Captain of Huntercombe Golf Club, Nick Jenkins and Lyndsey Mann respectively, very generously chose the Charlie Waller Trust as their charity for the annual Captains’ Charity Golf Day held on 8 October. This was brilliantly organised by the club, with Deborah in the office managing the admin, lunch for all participants perfectly served at distanced tables by Neil and his team, and the course was in great condition thanks to Grant and his ground staff. Mark and Rachel Waller and the home team obviously worked hard to bring it all together – and even found time to play themselves. The sun didn’t exactly shine, but after early rain, most players managed to stay dry. There was a raffle and an online auction and, together with some generous donations from members of Huntercombe who were unable to play (numbers had to be restricted), a total of over £16,000 was raised. The winning team of Martin Southgate, Steve Kendall, John Leahy and Steven Bone got an amazing 93 points. I thought our team did pretty well – but came nowhere near! Despite the unusual restrictions, it was a hugely successful and enjoyable day. ROSIE CHILVERS

CHRISTMAS Charlie Waller Virtual Carol Service In 2019, 900 people had attended our annual carol service at St Luke’s Church, London, but 2020 was always going to be different. We went ahead with the service, filming it and beaming it into the homes of supporters,


Bridge tournament

who enjoyed a thoroughly uplifting start to their Christmas celebrations. As well as the very talented Vox Cordis singers, the choirs of Bradfield College and Elstree School were able to record and add their own contributions remotely. Revd Brian Leathard introduced and led the prayers, Dick Moore spoke on behalf of the Trust and a host of stars gave their time to deliver the readings – actors Damian Lewis, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Jenna Coleman, model and actor Suki Waterhouse, radio and TV presenter Chris Tarrant and Bishop Michael Doe. Paddy Burrowes was part of the ‘at home’ congregation and said: “The filming in the church was stunning, the singing was incredible, it was so great to see the Bradfield and Elstree Choirs in wonderful voice, the readers were off the charts, and the homily was brilliant. It really was a magical way to spend a cold Monday evening, and in this strange world we live in, its Covid constraints actually made it more special and emotional.”

Christmas Raffle Our Christmas Raffle was a huge hit and we saw an incredible response from our individual and corporate supporters. Thank you to everyone who took part, either by donating a prize or buying raffle tickets. Prizes included a hamper from Selfridges worth £150, two cases of wine and a whole fresh lobster! The raffle raised a marvellous £19,500.

Best dressed Christmas tree Thanks to all those who entered and supported our inaugural Christmas tree decorating competition. It was no easy task choosing a winner but first prize went to Emma Vincent for her beautifully stylish entry. Emma won a Christmas tree for 2022 kindly donated by Yattendon Estate. •

Continues p34



GREAT CREATIONS There is clearly a huge amount of artistic talent amongst our supporters and we’re delighted they’re using it to help our work.

Master the art of painting Doing anything creative can be hugely beneficial for our mental health as it gives us a complete break from our everyday lives, so on 9 March, we launched ‘Master the art of painting’ an online art course. Four acclaimed artists – Laura Wallace, Julie Cameron, Hermione Gibbs and Leonie Gibbs – take participants through the stages of creating an oil painting. We are extremely grateful to artist Laura Wallace and her mother and Trust patron Louise Black who came up with this marvellous idea. Laura brought the other artists on board, and Louise and her husband Gordon, also a patron of the Trust, very generously funded the initiative.

Ella’s Christmas originals Also on the Christmas theme, Ella Brady designed and sold her own Christmas cards, donating part of the proceeds to Charlie Waller and to the Sam West Foundation (set up in memory of a young man at Ella’s school who took his own life). Ella’s mum has attended Charlie Waller workshops, Zoom talks and support groups that have helped Ella’s family understand Ella’s own mental health issues and how best to support her.

Support by design Art you want to eat! Artist Alice Straker produced a series of paintings featuring the food she dreamed of during lockdown, including a chocolate éclair and a steaming pot of mussels. The works featured in an online exhibition presented by Kate Preston Art, with a percentage of sales donated to the Trust. It was Alice’s own battle with anxiety, and a breakdown in 2015, which led to her to start painting full time. This proved to be a “ray of light”, which carried her through the darkness, developing into a passion that has become a career. There are still some works available to buy at and the gallery will make a donation to Charlie Waller. 24

Lucy Marsh is an established interior designer who sells her cushions for charity every six months. In last November’s sale, she chose to support the Trust because: “Never more than today has mental health been such a poignant issue, particularly as we embrace the global crisis of Covid-19.”

Shining lights Professional ceramicist Emma Louise Payne produced and sold candleholders, donating a percentage of the proceeds to the Trust. The candleholders hold three candles that represent her three brothers; one of whom, Adam, took his own life in 2018. The candleholders were available in 10 different colours, including ‘pickle green’, as ‘Pickle’ was Adam’s nickname for Emma. Emma also very generously donated three of her candleholders to our Christmas Raffle.


GETTING PHYSICAL! We know exercise can help with low mood and anxiety and it also seems to inspire our supporters to go the extra mile, as all these wonderful people so ably demonstrate.

Walkies for Wellbeing Our first Walkies for Wellbeing was a real success, thanks to the great enthusiasm of our supporters, especially those with cold, wet noses! Hundreds of people and dogs took part, raising a fabulous total of over £8,000. As you can see from our cover, they were joined by sports commentator and internet sensation Andrew Cotter who is supporting the event again this year. We’re hugely grateful to Andrew and everyone who took part for raising funds whilst getting active and boosting their own mental health. We’ll be launching this year’s Walkies for Wellbeing to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September. Please visit to register your interest and find out more.

Fit4Feb This year we launched Fit4Feb, a fitness challenge to encourage everyone – especially young people – to get out and get active. The challenge was to get a virtual team together and to walk or run 28 miles or cycle 280km during the 28 days of February, giving a donation to sign up, keeping in touch with team mates on social media. Berkshire mum, Lucy Bromage, thought it would be just the thing for her children during lockdown and the challenge also grabbed the attention of her son’s Year 8 group at Moulsford School as Lucy explained: “We approached the school sports master suggesting that rather than pupils logging on to their virtual sports session, they meet up with one other pupil and walk or cycle. The school was on board straight away and most of the year group signed up. It gave them the connection with their friends they were so missing." Fit4Feb raised a fantastic £9,500.

What people said about Fit4Feb: I’m super grateful - without your challenge I don’t think I would have done any of these rides this month, especially with the weather being so bad, and I feel much better for it.

Fitathon Personal trainer Anya Roberts organised a day of online exercise classes, with all the personal trainers donating their time for free and participants being asked for a small donation.

This has honestly been so good to get me motivated to get out! Just got to keep it going past Feb now..! It’s been brilliant and such a good distraction from the crazy work/home school juggle! •



SWIMMING Gavin Mansfield swam an incredible 36km in one day. At the end of the swim, he happened to come across TV and radio presenter Chris Evans and persuaded him to record a short video message of support that we were able to put on our Facebook page. Gavin raised over £2,000.

As it wasn’t possible to use their swimming pool during lockdown, Sevenoaks Swimming Club set their members, families and carers the challenge of virtually cycling, rowing, walking or running more than 5,000 miles – starting from Sevenoaks and visiting as many swimming clubs as possible along the way. It was a way to help support their members’ wellbeing as well as raise funds for both Charlie Waller and Young Minds.

Riding 25 miles in memory of Chris Hardie (1973-2018) The weather on the morning of 25 September looked decidedly unpromising for a bike ride, as a group of 10 of Chris’s friends and family gathered by the Wimbledon Common windmill ready for the start. We were joined by a crowd of stalwart supporters who cheered us on as we set off across the Common, heading for Kingston and Bushy Park. Happily, the clouds soon lifted and we were able to enjoy a very welcome cup of coffee at the Pheasantry, before leaving the park and cycling through Teddington towards the lock, and thence on to the Thames Path. By this time the sun had come out, so we could all appreciate that scenic stretch of the river, passing Twickenham, Richmond, Kew, Barnes and Hammersmith before reaching Putney. From there we headed up the hill back to Wimbledon Common, with a well-deserved stop for a hearty lunch at The Green Man on Putney Heath. Thanks to the huge generosity of friends, we raised over £8,000 for the Charlie Waller Trust. JILLIAN HARDIE

CYCLING Year 9 student Tilly Buckland is cycling 192 miles, the length of the Coast to Coast route, in her own words “a bit at a time” as part of her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award. She says: “I want to raise money for the Charlie Waller Trust because they train young people and the adults that look after them all about mental health and wellbeing, which is so important.” Will Young cycled 970 miles last summer from Land’s End to John O’Groats and raised over £2,000. Will lost a good friend to suicide and says: “His family have been incredible advocates for Charlie Waller. Having seen the wonderful work they do, it’s evident that many lives have been saved and transformed by this organisation. With the additional strain that Coronavirus has placed on our lives, this cause has never been more relevant.” 26

WALKING Becci McEvoy decided to walk one million steps in 100 days to fundraise for CWT, a challenge which she knew would be good for her own mental health as well as a challenge physically. She was encouraged by the talks and workshops that were delivered by a Charlie Waller trainer to her son’s school and says: “The training was absolutely fantastic – I was really inspired by it and wanted to do something that would make a difference.”

in tr aining

Friends Alice Allen and Tilly Hunt have committed to running 1,000 miles over this year, which they started on 1 February. The 16-year-olds thought it would be a great way to keep them both connected during lockdown and chose to raise funds for the Trust “because what you do is incredible and important.”

Here’s a preview of some of the amazing challenges for which our intrepid supporters are training. There’ll be news on their adventures in the next edition!



SALES Whether it’s cake or wine, there’s no better way to support us than by buying something you know you’ll enjoy!

Wine sale Piers German, managing director of Burns & German Vintners Ltd, was a good friend of Charlie Waller’s at school and says: “CWT holds a special place in my heart due to Charlie and Beetle, my brother. Barely a day goes by when they don’t crop up in my thoughts and I thought I should try and raise a bit of money to help the Trust.” Piers held a wine sale last October and raised £2,000.

Piers (left) with Charlie

Cake sale

The Grimsby Water Rats Junior English Channel Relay Team are training hard to achieve their channel-swimming dream.

Another team hoping to swim the English Channel are the Thames Marvels. Marika, Alaine, Rebecca, Vicky, Liz and Lee will swim in rotation for an hour at a time.

Mowden Hall School held a Christmas charity cake sale with donations going to CWT. Due to Covid restrictions, all the cakes had to be made by the school and, judging by the photos, they were much enjoyed by the children! The sale raised a brilliant £161.

Senior Master at Elstree School Luke Owens is taking on the mammoth challenge of running seven marathons in seven days. •



CHARITY PARTNERSHIPS We are very grateful to all the organisations who choose Charlie Waller as their charity partner.

COMPANIES We’re thrilled that ACRE Capital Real Estate LLP have made us their charity of the year for 2021. Some of their staff are also running the Cambridge Half Marathon for Charlie Waller – we wish them all the very best of luck! Private equity group ECI partnered with us last year and are busy organising fundraising events for us at the moment – we’ll bring you news of their activities in the next edition. We very much appreciate the support of Fidelity who have kindly made us their charity of the year for both 2021 and 2022. They have donated a wonderful £10,000 towards our work with parents and with further education colleges, both key areas of activity for us at the moment, and are passionate about having a two-way partnership with the Trust.

Michelmores chose Charlie Waller as their charity of the year for 2020. As it was such an unusual year, they are very kindly also supporting us in 2021. They have made donations, organised fundraisers and sponsored a raffle prize, amongst other activities, and are about to launch Michelmores Marathon for Mental Wellbeing in aid of the Trust. We look forward to continuing to work with London restaurant, Sam’s Riverside, especially as the weather becomes warmer and life returns a little more to normal. We would like to thank Panda Christie at Grapevine for her brilliant ongoing support, promoting our fundraising events.

SCHOOLS We are hugely grateful to all the schools who have made us their charity of the year or supported us in other ways. Students and staff of Bradfield College help us immensely throughout the year, hosting an annual carol service and our cricket tournament, amongst other things. We would also like to thank Elstree, Cranleigh, Benenden, St Mary’s Calne, Magdalen College School Oxford, Forefield Community Infant School and Queen Mary’s High School, along with Mowden Hall School, Shiplake College (see page 15) and Keble Prep School, who did the most wonderful take on Peter Kay’s Road to Amarillo!

We are immensely grateful to Fidelity for supporting our work with parents

Charlie Waller trustee Charlie Lytle and a team of his senior colleagues at Goldman Sachs are fundraising for the Trust, and the company, with great generosity, has undertaken to match-fund what they raise. Mercers Solicitors in Henley-on-Thames – so quite local to our base in Thatcham, Berkshire – have made us their charity partner of the year and we are very grateful for their support. 28

Mowden Hall School Christmas parade


SUPPORTING US The Trust relies on individuals who generously give their money or time to continue our work and we are extremely grateful for all your support. There are many ways in which you may make a donation:

Regular donations/ Friends of Charlie Waller Regular donations are a particularly important source of income for the Trust as they enable us to plan our work in advance. This is especially valuable in, for example, our work with schools: whilst one-off training sessions can be helpful, we make most impact by building longer term relationships with schools. Anyone who makes a regular donation is eligible for membership of our new scheme Friends of Charlie Waller which you can read about in the enclosed leaflet. Would you consider making a regular donation? If so, please complete the enclosed form or visit friends-of-charlie-waller

By telephone Call us on 01635 869754 By text To donate £10

Text ‘CWT’ to 70085 This costs £10 plus the cost of a standard rate message.

By cheque Send a cheque (payable to Charlie Waller Trust) to Charlie Waller Trust 32 High Street Thatcham Berkshire RG19 3JD

Donate online Please visit our website to make a donation online. JustGiving Please visit charliewaller VirginMoneyGiving Donate through VirginMoneyGiving using the link on our website get-involved/donations/ other-ways-to-donate


Your support will be hugely appreciated. •


Please see our website for event tickets, entry forms and more information, or contact us


what’s on

01635 869754

These are the events we have planned for this year and next. In the current situation, please bear in mind they may be subject to change. Please do keep an eye on our website for updates.

2021 Available from now MASTER THE ART OF PAINTING In the comfort of your home Sign up to our new online art classes via our website with four acclaimed artists. Available from 26 March – 18 April THE GLOBAL ARTICHOKE EASTER COOKING MASTERCLASS WITH FLORA’S KITCHEN Fun for all the family Cook up an Easter storm with expert virtual tuition (see opposite).

Sun 4 July THE SECRET GARDEN Bucklebury, Berkshire Seeds are being sown for a musical version of The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic children’s novel. Featuring a professional cast of singers, actors and musicians from London's West End and taking place in a beautiful Bucklebury garden, it will be an unmissable evening.

Sun 25 July ASICS LONDON 10K London Run for Charlie Waller past the sights of central London to live bands and beats.

Wed 26 May TEXAS SCRAMBLE GOLF TOURNAMENT Badgemore Park Golf Club, Henley-on-Thames Teams of four will be treated to a delicious lunch following the tournament at this renowned golf club. Sat 26 June COFFEE CONCERT All Saints Church, Rotherfield Peppard, Oxfordshire Recital by singer Rebecca Bell and pianist Anthea Fry (see opposite). June to September GRAND SLAM CHALLENGE Across the UK Choose a day, find a court, invite your friends and host your own tennis tournament for Charlie Waller. Suggested format suits a group of eight, and each group will receive an exciting goody bag.


Mon 12 July NEON DISCO Englefield House, Berkshire Fun, colourful disco for children in years 7 and 8, held in the grounds of Englefield House by kind permission of Lord and Lady Richard Benyon.

10 September – 10 October WALKIES FOR WELLBEING Across the UK Our second annual event for Charlie Waller supporters and their canine companions. Sun 11 July BRADFIELD CRICKET TOURNAMENT Bradfield College, Berkshire Our annual tournament in which eight teams battle to win this prestigious event! Fun for all the family, with hog roast, bouncy castle and cake competition. Sun 11 July BIKE OXFORD Oxford Lift your spirits with a fundraising bike ride round Oxford. Well-signed routes and a choice of 25, 50 or 80 mile distances. Five Charlie Waller places available.

Sat 18 September CHRISTOPHER BURROWS PIANO RECITAL Englefield House, Berkshire Beautiful music in elegant surroundings.

Sun 3 October

VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON London This year, 50,000 Runners taking part in the traditional race - starting in Blackheath and finishing at The Mall - will be joined by 50,000 virtual runners. General entry is sold out but we have a few virtual Charlie Waller places available on our website. If you have your own place and would like to support the Trust please do get in touch.

Tue 26 October- to be confirmed MOZART REQUIEM Cadogan Hall The profoundly affecting last work of Mozart, performed by Charlie Grace and Vox Cordis in the stunning Cadogan Hall. October to December BRIDGE COMPETITION Across the UK Have some bridge fun whilst helping Charlie Waller! Set up a game of Chicago bridge or rubber bridge with friends, either online or face-to-face. Date to be confirmed MAGIC EVENING WITH ARCHIE MANNERS Cirencester Join magician, comedian and TV host Archie Manners for an enchantingly entertaining evening.

Thur 4 November QUIZ NIGHT St Columba’s Church, London SW1 Test your general knowledge in a fun team quiz. December VIRTUAL CHRISTMAS RAFFLE Following the success of our inaugural Christmas Raffle last year, here’s another opportunity to win some fantastic prizes whilst helping our cause. Date to be confirmed BRADFIELD CAROL SERVICE Bradfield College Chapel, Berkshire A candlelit carol service in beautiful surroundings with local celebrity readers. Mon 13 December LONDON CAROL SERVICE St Luke’s, Chelsea Our flagship festive event of candlelit carols and celebrity readers.



Sun 17 October CAMBRIDGE HALF MARATHON Cambridge We are thrilled once again to be a charity partner for this popular running event. We only have a couple of places left so please get in touch if you’d like to run for Charlie Waller.

Mon 14 February ANDREW ROBSON BRIDGE DAY Elstree School, Berkshire Andrew Robson OBE is England’s best known bridge player. A great day of bridge and a delicious lunch. May – date to be confirmed KINSKY TRIO CONCERT Gray’s Inn, London A concert from one of the outstanding Czech chamber ensembles. May – date to be confirmed SEDLAK VIRTUOSI CONCERT Elstree School, Berkshire A second concert from incredibly talented Czech musicians who are longstanding friends of the Trust. June – date to be confirmed RIPON RACE EVENING Ripon Racecourse, Yorkshire One of the highlights of the Yorkshire fundraising year!



From Flora's Kitchen and The Global Artichoke

All Saints Church, Rotherfield Peppard, Oxfordshire

Cook Flora’s fabulous Easter menu, including Chalkstream Trout canapés, butterflied leg of lamb and mini raspberry tarts You’ll receive all 11 recipes and an ingredients list with your order confirmation

Cost: £25 Proceeds to the Charlie Waller Trust Available to purchase until 18 April at workshops/p/eastercooking-demo

Saturday 26 June, 11.00am

Join singer Rebecca Bell and renowned pianist, Anthea Fry, for a recital celebrating nature, the land and the sea, followed by coffee and cake Rebecca is one of the Thames Marvels (see page 27) Donations to the Charlie Waller Trust Please check for any changes before attending •


LOOKING FOR HELP? As we don’t provide clinical help to individuals, we have listed below some organisations which offer direct advice if you are concerned about anyone who may be depressed. SAMARITANS 116 123


For confidential emotional support 24/7

For a register of accredited therapists

MAYTREE 0207 263 7070 An adult respite sanctuary for the suicidal


All details correct at time of going to press.

For a directory of registered/accredited therapists

PAPYRUS HOPE LINE 0800 068 4141 Text 07786 209697

For parents concerned about their child’s emotional problems or behaviour

NHS 111 111


Inclusion here does not mean the Charlie Waller Trust recommends or endorses any of these organisations above others, nor can we guarantee that the organisation will have a solution to your particular problem.

For practical advice on suicide prevention – particularly in teenagers and young adults

STUDENTS For information and self-help material

For help and reassurance 24/7 when it is less urgent than 999

Who’s who Presidents The Rt Hon. Sir Mark Waller Lady Waller Trustees Richard Waller QC (Chairman) Robert Beaumont Robin Booth (Hon. Treasurer) Dr Nick Broughton (Consultant Psychiatrist) Michael Cole-Fontayn William de Laszlo Mark Durden-Smith Dr Mina Fazel (Research Fellow & Consultant Child Psychiatrist) Julian Hay Charles Lytle James Murray Professor Roz Shafran (Chartered Clinical Psychologist) Katie Tait Philip Waller Iain Weatherby

Board Advisers Professor David Clark Lord Crisp KCB Lord Layard Dr Denise Meyer Professor Suzanna Rose Sir Anthony Seldon Professor Sir Simon Wessely

Chief Executive Clare Stafford

Patrons Alexander Armstrong Gordon Black CBE Louise Black The Hon. Mrs de Laszlo Neil Durden-Smith OBE Nigel Gray Professor Steven Hollon Ian McIntosh Mary Nightingale Sue Shenkman Phoebe Waller-Bridge Anthony West Michael Whitfeld

Colleges & Universities Programme Director Dr Andrew Reeves

Communications Director Tracey Gurr Schools & Families Programme Director Sarah Ashworth

Workplace Programme Director Abigail Hirshman Finance & Operations Manager Carrie Green Fundraising Manager Georgie Miles Training & Programmes Manager Annabelle Martin Graphic Designer Amy Martin

The Charlie Waller Trust First Floor • Rear Office • 32 High Street • Thatcham • Berkshire RG19 3JD Registered Charity No. 1109984

Digital Communications Officer Izzi Dent Freelance Events Coordinator Debs Burles Fundraising Assistant Lucy Fishburn PA to CEO Tricia Monro Volunteer and Resources Officer Martha Pipkin Bookkeeper Heather Codling Trusts & Grants Fundraising Officer Natalie Norris Training and Evaluation Assistant Martha Lee-Harris Office Assistant Kirsty Osborn

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