My dear brother, the middle child with a sister either side, only three years between all three of us not only close in age but so close in nature. Growing up, friends admired how we all just got on always looking out for each other; a closeness that continued into adult life. The three of us have always been open with each other and always there for each other no matter what the circumstance.
Charlie could light up a room with his presence, he involved everyone and never let anyone not feel a part of something. Always making sure everyone was happy around him.
He had a very long battle with his depression and anxiety however was always so aware of his triggers and spent so much time taking care of himself for the good of his mental health.
He loved “giving back” whether that be with his time or his efforts with all his fundraising. He loved the Will Smith quote “if you are not making someone else’s life better, you are wasting your time” he whole heartedly lived by that.
My brother was one in a million; never have I ever a met someone who has had so much drive and passion to help others. His words of wisdom and inspiration will be the main reason why a lot of people are where they are today, me included.
Even when Charlie was feeling his lows (and there were many), it did not stop him from helping others and showing people the positive side that shone so bright around him. My brother struggled with his mental health for sixteen long years following the sudden death of our father.
Sixteen years is a long time to struggle but it is also a long time to live through the battles too and for that I am proud of him. I am proud of all the charitable work he did, and our aim is to continue supporting some of his chosen charities with this foundation.
I attended a few sleep outs with my dear brother and his friends for SASH, the first one being the most memorable. I was bunked up in a cardboard box with Charlie, the rain never stopped all night long and neither did his thunderous snoring!!! A one in a million kind of guy and anyone who had the pleasure of having him in their lives was truly blessed, he touched so many hearts. He was one of my best friends and I am honoured to be his little sister.
Charlie was my partner, my friend, my fellow kitchen dancer and my rock.
He was the person I would have happily spent the rest of my life with, but I feel privileged to have had him for just over 3 years.
As a partner, Charlie was inspiring. He believed in following your dreams and working hard to accomplish them. His encouragement was unfaltering and loved nothing better than to see those around him succeed.
As with everything in his life, Charlie fought determinedly against his depression and anxiety, while simultaneously helping others to fight against their own. I am endlessly proud of everything Charlie achieved and for all that he stood for.
Being part of the CDLF is so important to me, to allow Charlie’s voice to still be heard and his work to continue.
We have been friends over the last fifteen years since both being based in York and instantly hit it off with a shared passion for socialising, golf and a few beverages where possible.
Our friendship grew even stronger about seven years ago when we had discussions over one of our many shared interests (probably golf or beverages) we decided that we wanted to give something back to the community in York. We realised doing this alone would be challenging and we both subsequently joined the local Round Table in York.
We have both been active members in this over the last seven years, and in the last year Charlie was our Chairman. It was great for us to meet likeminded guys in York who were keen on giving back to the local community through fund raising and volunteering. Together as a team we organised and hosted plenty of events raising £10s of thousands of pounds for local York based charities and clubs that needed support to help serve our community.
What was fascinating was Charlie’s approach and the relationships he built with these charities and the people they helped. I will never forget I was running late to meet him at a local homeless shelter where they provided food and warmth for people who needed it, by the time I got there and when I found him, he was sat having breakfast with four homeless people all sharing stories and having a bit of a laugh.
I joined in with them and by the end of it they all knew Charlie’s name and he knew each of theirs as if they had been lifelong friends. His ability to connect with people was fantastic and I would say that he truly was the driving force behind everything we did at Round Table, constantly coming up with ideas on how we could do more to help and support people in the community around us.
What will stick with me was his approach to this and had the motto that we want to raise as much money as we can for good causes but at the same time make sure we are having fun along the way. I did remind him of these on numerous occasions especially when we took part in sleepouts braving the elements, and more often not the rain! But no matter what we did together he always had his cheeky smile on his face.
I really think our shared passion for this brought us closer and closer as friends and we have shared so many great experiences together from holidays, weekends away, endless nights out and always competitive time on the golf course. As a person I always had the upmost respect for everything that he achieved in life through family, friends, business ventures and his constant enthusiasm for success in himself but also success and happiness for others around him. The Charlie Dallas Lancaster Foundation will allow us to remember him and continue his legacy of helping and supporting people.
Charlie was a best friend, agony aunt, a strong shoulder when you needed it, a god father to my daughter and all in all a true gentleman. I met Charlie roughly 9 years ago, he was a charming charismatic guy who I was instantly drawn to and bonded with. His presence and confidence blew me away and I must be honest I genuinely admired him on so many levels, I remember saying to him one day “you are going to be something special mate anything you do, or touch turns to gold.” He put his hand on my shoulder and said, ” take the gold mate go with it and don’t look back and regret anything, life is a game and you can play it,” classic Charlie.
I was always amazed with how cool and calm Charlie remained in almost any situation including running through an airport on the way back from Rome, last call coming out of the tanoy for a certain Tim Brown and Charlie Lancaster. I was panicking and screaming at Charlie to leg it but no, calm as always striding along with his head held high. He was a man who helped others, had a passion for charity work and was the best friend a man could ask for.
Over the course of nearly 20 years of friendship, the stories, shared experiences and great times with Charlie are endless. There are charity stories, business stories and many to choose from but one story that for me sums up Charlie at his best. Many years ago, in the height of our youthful exuberance when both departed last minute for a weekend break in Amsterdam.
He booked a nice hotel but with only one bed, so a single mattress on the floor was quickly requested along with an agreement that the first one back each night could sleep in the double. We headed out for our first night on the town and sat having a drink in an average bar wondering how our night would go with only two of us, Charlie spotted a busy looking bar and after nipping over for a chat, we were given a small table in the corner of a busy bar called Players. In true Charlie style the first round was a bottle of expensive Champagne complete with attached roman candle which made its way through the hundred plus people in the busy bar, peaking the interest of a couple of the bar staff.
I am sure they wondered who these overly confident strangers were in the corner of their bar. Next thing I know Charlie has walked over to the bar to introduce himself and following a brief chat with one of the bar staff, a space was cleared for us to sit at the bar and be the centre of attention. Bear in mind we had only been in the city a couple of hours, it was amazing we sat and talked, drank, learned songs and local customs from the staff all night long. We were given free drinks allowed to go behind the bar, serve people and make our own drinks. We even had our own lock in with just us and the staff after closing time and were even given two staff uniforms to take home with us. The staff added us both on Facebook and although we never got a chance to return to see them, we both stayed in touch with them all these years.
I never did find out what he said to the bouncer to get us around the 30 people plus queue and to a table, nor did I find out what he said to the staff at the bar to get the treatment we did, but that was Charlie all over, he could develop something from nothing, always wanted to help those around him and ensure everyone around him had the best possible time. People were his passion!!
As a family man, a Chairman of our Roundtable, a Business partner, a Sports rival but more than that he was a friend, and he showed his passion for people day in day out. People trusted him, believed in him and always wanted to be around him. He drove those around him forward as a leader, showing people what was possible if you work hard to achieve more but more importantly, he supported others to do this wherever he could. The CDL Foundation will always allow us to remember him and carry forward his passion for helping people to better themselves.
The work Charlie did for those less fortunate than him was admirable and the many charities he supported have lost an incredible philanthropist. Even through his struggles and harder times he always managed to inspire and drive others, with great advice and motivational chats he was always there to support people who needed him.