What we do
Team Tom are dedicated to providing Clinical Psychology for children with brain tumours within UK hospitals. Our Clinical Psychologists work within a pioneering team ensuring that the children and their families are fully supported, enabling the children to reach their full potential.
The first service is based at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge. Our work is additional to the very basic NHS provision, which is not designed or intended to manage the complex psychological requirements of young brain tumour sufferers. If we do not support the psychological provision, it simply would not be there.
Our Clinical Psychologists support children with brain tumours and their families from the point of diagnosis, throughout treatment and beyond, we are also passionate about supporting families who sadly lose their children. Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children under 15.
When Debs and Andrew Whiteley’s 9-year-old son Tom died after a brave battle with a brain tumour, they founded Tom’s Trust to give other families the psychological support that simply wasn’t available to their family when they desperately needed it. Tom’s Trust provides innovative and pioneering Clinical Psychology for children diagnosed with a brain tumour, from diagnosis, throughout treatment and for the rest of their childhood, helping children to cope and allowing them to reach their full potential.
Currently every child diagnosed in the East of England is cared for by the Tom’s Trust team of Clinical Psychologists, and children are never discharged from our care because their needs continue. We are in the process of setting up a similar service at the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle, and our vision is to eventually support all children and families in the UK. Our Clinical Psychologists are the centre point of the child’s long-term rehabilitation. Early intervention improves a child’s quality of life enormously. Our Clinical Psychologists work with children aged 0-16 who are diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Our first aim is to continue to support and improve the Clinical Psychology provision at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, caring for all children in the East of England.
Our second aim is to identify and work with other UK hospitals.
Our third aim is to raise awareness of children with brain tumours. Although the number of children diagnosed each year is small compared to other childhood cancers, this figure is accumulative, with every child needing psychological support from the point of diagnosis.