Toms Trust Charity
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Our work

What we do

Tom’s Trust is dedicated to providing mental health support to children with brain tumours in the UK. 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. 

Take a look at our ‘why we do it’ page to find out more about why our children need this specialist support.

 

Tom’s Trust’s programme of support

Our clinical psychologists support children who are diagnosed with brain tumours and their families, to improve their quality of life and wellbeing. Our support starts at diagnosis and continues through adolescence, as the children’s needs change. We are also passionate about supporting families who sadly lose their children.

Evidence proves that early intervention with psychological support reduces the likelihood of long-term disabilities (NHS England Neuro-rehabilitation service specification 2014). By providing mental health support at the point of diagnosis and beyond, we provide the best chance for children to get back to school, resume their lives and go on to achieve their full potential.

 

Our work

Neuropsychological assessments Neuropsychological assessments take place over five hours. They help gauge a child’s cognitive abilities, identifying possible brain damage following treatment (i.e. memory, language and problem solving). These assessments act as the backbone to a child’s recovery, providing a greater understanding of their mental abilities and emotional state. One-to-one support These sessions help our children process their emotions, build resilience, and identify coping strategies. We also provide palliative support to children who receive a terminal diagnosis. Parental support Providing parental support and classes, such as ‘Parenting a child through diagnosis, treatment and beyond’. Sibling support Siblings often report loneliness, desolation, despair and neglect when their sibling is diagnosed and being treated. We provide support and hold groups for siblings experiencing difficulties processing their brother or sister’s diagnosis. Reintegration support We support a child’s reintroduction into school following long absences caused by hospital stays. Working with teachers we identify suitable learning approaches based on the child’s reduced cognitive capabilities following treatment to help them readjust to school life. Group work Our group work allows our children and families to meet others who are going through similar experiences, reducing their feelings of isolation by allowing them to interact with each other, helping to build their emotional resilience. Bereavement support One in three children diagnosed with a brain tumour will sadly die. We are passionate about offering bereavement support to families who lose a child to a brain tumour.

We have two services, one in the East of England and one in the North East. We provide support to an incredible 301 children, approximately 755 additional family members, and approximately 75 new diagnoses annually.

Hear from one of our psychologists:

Dr Angela Kirby – Tom’s Trust, Cambridge 

 

Why is Tom’s Trust best placed to provide this support?

Tom’s Trust was established in 2011 by Andrew Whiteley and Debs Mitchell following the death of their only son Tom, aged 9, after a seven-month battle with a brain tumour. They received almost no support during diagnosis, treatment or beyond.

After Tom died, they were determined that no other family would be unsupported. We are the only UK charity focused solely on providing mental health support for children with brain tumours and their families, which is desperately needed but almost entirely absent.

Since 2013 we’ve worked hard to gather evidence on how important psychological support is for children with brain tumours and their families. We have developed a best practice support service and are extremely proud that we see improvements in 100% of the children we support in their cognitive or emotional states.

 

 

Listen to Tom’s mum, and one of our co-founders, talk about Tom’s diagnosis: 

 

Read more about Tom’s story. 

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