It’s good to talk – A night at Layer Marney Tower

11th May 2023

The Tudor Palace of Layer Marney Tower was the backdrop for our annual Spring reception.

Around 100 of our supporters and fundholders met in the beautifully restored Essex Barn for an update on our work.

Evenings like this are a great opportunity to bring our people together and we are so grateful our friends Nick and Sheila Charrington for once again allowing us to hold our event in their lovely venue.

The topic for the evening was mental health and suicide prevention. One of our Trustees and Chair of our Fund Development Committee, Sandra Hollis, introduced our two speakers: Tim Watkins, co-founder of the Charlie Watkins Foundation, and Elise Ellis from Colchester & Tendring Youth Enquiry Service.

Charlie Watkins Foundation

Tim Watkins explained how ECF helped him and his son, Harry, to set up a charitable Fund in memory of his other son Charlie, and to build a lasting legacy to support young people with their mental health.

Charlie Watkins was just 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 local and national charities to provide better support young people who struggle with their mental health and well-being.

Colchester & Tendring Youth Enquiry Service

Colchester and Tendring Youth Enquiry Service, known as YES, provides a wide range of support for young people who find themselves in difficult situations and struggling to cope.

Their services include support for those that find themselves at risk of homelessness, advice and guidance for teenage pregnancies and exciting projects and opportunities for young people, such as their GoGreen gardening scheme.

Guests at Layer Marney Tower heard a talk by Elise Ellis who is one of their School Navigators who goes into schools in Colchester and Tendring, offering counselling and mentoring to students in need.

The original grant to pilot this project came from the Charlie Watkins Foundation.