Deborah Whiteley, aged 47, of Cambridge has been shortlisted for the prestigious Tesco Mum of the Year Awards 2015. Marking its 10th anniversary year, the awards celebrate the wonderful things mums do. Deborah’s story was selected from thousands of nominations sent in by people all over the UK.
Deborah set up Tom’s Trust in memory of her nine year-old son Tom, who lost his battle to cancer just seven months after being diagnosed with a brain tumour. Since that day, Deborah has worked tirelessly to support other families whose children have been diagnosed with having a brain tumour and are going through treatment or living with the after-effects of treatment.
In its first year alone, Tom’s Trust raised over £100,000. The trust helps to fund specialist support at Addenbrookes Hospital, where Tom was treated in order to provide specialist support for children with brain tumours. The charity ensures that a Clinical Psychologist is on hand to support children and their families through treatment and after treatment, offering the best possible rehabilitation support. The charity partnered up with two other charities and last year launched the UK’s first every rehabilitation service dedicated to children with brain tumours. Tom’s Trust funded the Clinical Psychologist within this service.
Deborah continues to fundraise for the charity, including raising more than £10,000 for a nine-day sponsored walk from Old Trafford, home of Tom’s favourite football team Manchester United, to a local school in Cambridge, which she also participated in along with Tom’s two sisters. Their committed efforts are focused on funding a second Clinical Psychologist to work within the rehabilitation service at Addenbrookes, Cambridge enabling more support for the children and their families. On top of this, Deborah is hoping to role out a full rehabilitation service to a second UK hospital.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the Awards, Tesco is donating £1,000 to a charity of each shortlisted mum’s choice. Commenting on the contribution, Deborah said: “The donation will help us to achieve our aim of adding a second clinical psychologist to our rehabilitation service at Addenbrookes.”
Since the awards started 10 years ago, Tesco has supported the causes of over 80 mums who have shared their personal stories of achievement, selflessness and courage.
All shortlisted mums will be considered by a judging panel, which includes DJ Sara Cox, TV personality Gabby Logan and sports presenter Denise Lewis. The winners will be announced early next year.
If Deborah is selected by the judges to be one of the winning mums, she will be presented with her award in front of friends and family at London’s iconic hotel, The Savoy. The Awards – the largest of their kind, will take place in March with a glamorous red carpet ceremony, which attracts a host of celebrity guests, celebrating the inspirational mums, who have made differences to the lives of others.
Fearne Cotton, popular TV and radio presenter, is Ambassador of the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards 2015. Speaking of her Ambassador role, Fearne said: “There are so many inspirational mums out there who do such wonderful things for others and don’t realise just how special they are! I am very excited to be part of the 10th year Anniversary for the Awards and to help give these incredible mums the recognition and appreciation they deserve.”
Debbie Chernin, Tesco Mum of the Year Manger, said: “We are extremely proud to be celebrating the 10th Anniversary year of the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards. Each year we find remarkable mums and discover more amazing achievements and successes. This year is no exception. We have read many incredible stories and it’s a privilege to celebrate such inspirational women. Everyone shortlisted has achieved something outstanding and shown selfless devotion to others. Our aim is to show every single mum just how wonderful she is.”
For more information on the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards 2015, please visit www.tesco.com/living (and click on the Mum of the Year section). Keep up to date with all the news on the awards on Twitter @TescoLiving #MumoftheYear