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  • Charlie Waller Trust


  • Strategic digital partnership – strategy, portfolio delivery and bespoke technology

What we did:

  • Digital strategy
  • Managed transformation
  • Rebrand
  • Fundraising platform
  • Online information service


  • MS Dynamics CRM integration
  • Online donations through Braintree and GoCardless
  • Online Mental Health Assessment Toolkit

A leading light in positive mental health support for young people

For over 20 years, Charlie Waller Trust (CWT) has been at the forefront of conversations around depression, anxiety and mental health.  They provide vital support and help to young people experiencing challenging times and offer essential guidance and advice to schools, colleges and workplaces.  By educating those responsible for the safety and wellbeing of young people, they have ensured that the mental health of young people in our society is recognised and nurtured.

The charity has experienced rapid growth in the past 5 years and as they transitioned from a small to a medium sized organisation, the challenges they faced with their systems and ways of working became evident.  Recognising they needed to evolve to support their growth and meet the digital needs of their beneficiaries, they approached us to be their digital partner.

In support of their ambitious growth ambitions, a significant digital transformation was needed.  Together we embarked on a programme that would maximise the use of technology to support essential activities, enhance the delivery of training services and expand the charity’s reach by elevating connections and personal relationships with its audiences.

In the face of the ongoing pandemic and a global mental health crisis, the timing could not have been more appropriate to fully digitise and launch their new image which helped position them, their services and resources for the modern world. The charity’s purpose - to engage, inform and educate young people and those who care for them – has become more accessible and visible than ever before.


Our goal from day one was to modernise the charity by harnessing the right digital technologies to positively impact existing, and engage new, audiences.

Working in partnership with RedNine, a trusted brand agency, our transformation work was enhanced by a supporting brand refresh to modernise the charity’s identity - being careful to look to the future while remaining respectful to Charlie’s story.

The challenge for our team was to take the charity’s big ideas and distil them into a clear digital strategy to future-proof the organisation. The need for a new CRM and robust internal applications was quickly identified, while collaborative working sessions with external stakeholders, trainers and support staff underscored the importance of creating a more flexible, secure and integrated approach to working.

The speed of development and change within the charitable sector is astonishing, so we knew that our solution must directly support the strategic needs of the charity’s HR, finance and marketing teams - both now and in the future.

By taking the time to get to know the charity and its history intimately, it was evident that its communications approach and digital presence needed to move towards an audience-centred benefit-led proposition and prioritise the user experience above all else.

Through mapping processes, engineering effective and efficient information flow, and making sure that the right systems and technology were captured and ready to put in place, the Charlie Waller Trust started the process. 

New brand and digital enhancement

We focussed upon its new brand identity and web presence during the summer of 2020, supported by the newly created Umbraco CMS which gave the charity marked improvements in managing their new website. Alongside this, online donations were integrated through Braintree and GoCardless which facilitated the on-going fundraising abilities they needed to offer their supporters, improving the way in which they could interact with the cause they care so much about.

It emerged that the digital capabilities of the charity’s teams also needed addressing, to bring its UK-wide network of trainers and support staff closer together. This became more apparent and urgent when unexpected Covid-19 ‘lockdown’ restrictions suddenly made the charity’s mental health support work more valuable and sought after than ever before.

Introducing C-MET: College mental health self-evaluation tool

Working in partnership with The Association of Colleges (AoC) provided CWT with the opportunity to move the paper based mental health assessment, College mental health self-evaluation tool (C-MET), online.

C-MET is a simple, effective way to measure and improve mental health and wellbeing in colleges via an interactive online platform. The comprehensive online platform covers 10 domains for a whole college approach to mental health and wellbeing. Domains include leadership and management, staff development and support and opportunities to develop and promote social and emotional skills throughout the wider curriculum. Interested parties receive a validation code to access the platform via Charlie Waller’s website.

The easy-to-use tool is accessed via a highly visual dashboard, broken down into the 10 mental health domains.  It allows users to see their progress at-a-glance, so they can assess which areas the college is excelling in and which areas they have room for improvement. Previous scores are logged and shown via the dashboard, allowing colleges to chart their year-on-year improvements in specific mental health areas.

The platform, which is evidence-based, is dependent on honest and reflective assessments of the current situation, asking users to describe their performance in core areas and provide evidence to support each statement. Each question is assessed via a RAG (red, amber, green) scoring system.

At the end of each section, users are signposted towards a host of recommended resources to help improve mental health understanding, as well as offered the opportunity to contact Charlie Waller to request free, evidence-based training or access further e-learning materials.

Completed assessments result in an action plan, which can be downloaded as a PDF for ease of presentation and internal sharing with college boards, helping to further build awareness of the importance of mental health and wellbeing within colleges at a strategic level. Any college that scores over 70% in its assessment is given the opportunity, directly via the platform, to be showcased as a case study and to apply for the AoC’s Beacon awards, celebrating the best and most innovative practice among UK further education (FE) colleges.

Strongly positioned for success

The charity has truly developed and embraced a strong culture of digital collaboration during this transformative process. A wide range of operational and efficiency benefits have been felt by the organisation, through access to cloud-based security for all, productivity apps to support internal and external users and a CRM that aids the charity’s fundraising and training capabilities.

The new website, combined with the refreshed brand identity, strongly positions the Charlie Waller Trust within the UK’s vibrant mental health charity arena.

C-MET serves as a valuable opportunity for both Charlie Waller and the AoC to better understand current needs for mental health training and support within the marketplace, and to guide mental health training accordingly. This highly-accessible mental health assessment toolkit, launched with Public Health England, has been positively received within the market and has now been made widely available and adopted by colleges across the UK - with plans to extend its reach to schools and workplaces in the near future.

The results


staff and line managers supported in training

Successfully launched a new brand identity and web presence in summer 2020 in the height of the pandemic

Enhanced visibility, awareness and engagement for essential mental health resource

"Our objective was clear: we needed to find a way to encapsulate 23 years of history, borne out of tragedy, and transform this into a charity suited to the needs of the 21st century. We have achieved exactly that working with the team at digital wonderlab."

Tracey Gurr, Communications Director, Charlie Waller Trust

The tech behind the solutions

For the core content management we utilised Umbraco CMS which gave the charity a feature rich and easy to manage new website.

The frontend of the website is built using a Bootstrap framework.

We integrated with MS Dynamics for the CRM to allow user data to be fully utilised by the team.

The fundraising solution is a combination of bespoke development and integration with the Eventbrite API. Donations are taken care of using the Braintree in page solution which offers payments via card, PayPal, Google Pay and Apple Pay.

"Digital Wonderlab just get the world of charity, and how we work. Money is difficult to raise, it is very time consuming and it needs to be invested wisely as many people are involved. I always felt that the team had our back and provided a safe pair of hands throughout the process. They brought in the necessary partners we needed to complete the first stage of our digital journey"

Carrie Green, Finance and Operations Manager, Charlie Waller Trust

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