About Tom’s Trust

Who we are

Tom’s Trust is the UK’s only charity dedicated to providing mental health support to children and young people with brain and other central nervous system tumours, and their families. Our clinical psychologists support hundreds of children, and thousands of families, within hospitals in the UK, helping children from diagnosis, through their brutal treatment and as they return to life at home. Our team is also there to support a family if their child is dying or has sadly died from this devastating disease.

Why families need support from a Tom’s Trust psychologist

Each year, 1,800 children are diagnosed with cancer – 500 of these children will have brain tumours. That’s nearly 10 children per week. There is a common misconception that children treated for brain tumours make a full recovery. The reality is that a brain tumour is emotionally, physically, and mentally devastating, and for children the impact of their medical treatment can continue to unfold for years afterwards.

Many children will experience serious mental health issues such as PTSD, anxiety, and depression, as a result of their tumour, some may experience bullying as their peers do not understand why they look different (scars/head swelling from procedures), or act differently (treatment damaging cognitive function, leaving children unable to mentally keep up with friends). In addition, 62% of children who survive a brain tumour will then live with life-long disabilities (such as blindness, hearing loss, lost motor-function or learning disabilities).

Early intervention and assessment of key areas of brain function can reduce the likelihood of long-term disabilities and provide the best chance for children to get back to school, resume their lives and go on to achieve their full potential.

Tom's Trust children with their backs turned, doing a 't' for Tom with their hands
How our clinical psychologists support children and families

Our clinical psychologists carry out neuropsychological assessments and the results from this help to form a pathway of care and provide a benchmark for any future progress or decline. Also offered is access to one-to-one support, school liaison reintegration, whole-family and sibling support, group counselling sessions, and palliative care and bereavement support. If we didn’t exist our families would not have this support. We help children and their families to cope with a massive life change and get the very best from their treatments.


The founding story of Tom’s Trust

The charity was founded in 2011 by the parents of Tom Whiteley who sadly died in 2010 at the age of nine, after a short seven-month battle with a brain tumour. They received almost no mental health support during his diagnosis, treatment or beyond. After Tom died, they were determined that no other family should go through what they had experienced alone. Tom was treated at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, where the inspiration for the charity began and where the first Tom’s Trust centre was opened. Read more about Tom’s story.

Toms smiling to the camera
Tom, the inspiration behind Tom’s Trust

Our team and our strategy

Our team is based across the UK, with our Head Office in Cambridge. We currently provide our psychology services in three centres in the UK – Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle and at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool. Read about Tom’s Trust’s vision and mission and take a look at our five-year strategy.

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