25 years of extraordinary support

November 09 2023

White curve
The Trust’s 25th anniversary year culminated in a glittering fundraising ball. Chairman Richard Waller explained its significance.

On Friday 3rd November, more than 400 people enjoyed a wonderful evening of dinner, dancing, fundraising and – most importantly – celebrating the impact of the Trust's work over the last 25 years. The venue, explained Richard, could not have been more apt:

“It was very fitting that we celebrated our anniversary at London’s Royal National Hotel as it was where our fundraising events started all those years ago. 

Extraordinary growth

Richard Waller speaking at 25th anniversary ball
Candy Walduck and Mia West, two guests at ball, hugging

"It is a testament to the hugely loyal support we have received over the years that so many guests at the ball also attended those very first events.”

The result of that incredible support is an organisation that has grown from humble beginnings into one of the UK’s most respected mental health charities. 

Ambitious plans

Richard said: “It is hard to believe it was 25 years ago that my parents started the Charlie Waller Trust sitting round their kitchen table in Bradfield.

We now employ over 20 people in our new Newbury office and have more than 40 freelance trainers working for us all over the UK.”

Sir Mark and two other guests at 25th anniversary ball

This growth means, of course, that we are able to support the mental health of thousands more young people and those around them.

Older person talking to younger person outside under trees

The Trust’s work continues to be needed and there are plans to expand our programmes further in the coming months and years:

“It is tempting,” said Richard, “in the current economic climate, to start to retrench.


"That is, however, the last thing we want to do: our young need our help more today than perhaps ever before in our 25-year history.

“We are therefore determined to continue to follow our ambitious growth plan to extend our reach and impact. 

"This is something I am confident we can achieve thanks to our wonderfully loyal and generous supporters.”

Chief Executive, Clare Stafford, added: “The ball was a wonderful celebration of the Trust’s 25 years as well as a poignant reminder of Charlie and the reasons why our work is so vitally important.”

Moving speech

Connor Kelly speaking at ball

Supporter Connor Kelly reminded everyone of the importance of the Trust's work through his incredibly moving speech. He spoke about the help he had received from the Trust and how it motivated him to undertake colossal challenges to raise funds:

“The Trust helped me in my darkest and lowest time; it was a bedrock. I’m raising funds so that they can continue for the next 25 years. That’s my passion and my motivation. Their work is absolutely paramount for the next generation.”

Thank you

The ball came together as the result of the hard work and generosity of a large number of people. Richard said:

“A huge thank you to the Walduck family who surpassed even their own generosity by putting on the ball at no cost to the Trust.

"Thank you too, to Mia West and her amazing fundraising committee, to Tim West and his brilliant sponsorship team for drumming up so much support, and to my cousin Katharine Foster-Brown who put together an extraordinary collection of prizes for the live and silent auctions. Indeed, thank you to all the people who contributed to this spectacular occasion.”

Auction prizes on table including hamper, handbag and artwork

Watch this space for updates on the ball and the impact it will make on the Trust’s work!

Thank you to the headline sponsors of the ball, M&G and Imperial Hotels, and to all the committee members: Emma Barker, Sarah Brearley, Jojo Browner, Julie Cameron, Tray Durrant, Lucy Fishburn, Katharine Foster-Brown, Sara Fox, Anna Gage, Melissa Owston, Lucinda Spurrier, Candida Walton, Katie Waller, Laura Wallace, Mia West.

CWT Team
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