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East of England

Care in the East of England

Brainbow sign with balloons commemorating the 10 year anniversary of the service

The past decade

For more than a decade, clinical psychologists from Tom’s Trust provided crucial services in the East of England, working within a multi-disciplinary service at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge called Brainbow. Established in 2013, Brainbow introduced a groundbreaking approach to treating children with brain tumours by bringing together various healthcare services under one collaborative umbrella. Funding for Brainbow came from a partnership of three charitable organisations: Anna’s Hope, Tom’s Trust, and Camille’s Appeal. Joshua Tarrant Trust later replaced Camille’s Appeal.

After ten years of campaigning for the rights of families with brain tumours, in April 2023 our psychology provision was officially recognised as an essential service at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. The NHS made the incredible decision to take over the funding of our Cambridge psychologists. This achievement is a source of immense pride for Tom’s Trust, having provided mental health support to over 500 children across the East of England during the past ten years, as well as 1,500 family members.

Read our goodbye interview with our wonderful Cambridge psychologists about their work with us over the past 10 years. You can also read about our funding takeover and celebration event.

Tom Whiteley was the inspiration behind Tom's Trust and its first service in the East of England. Tom sadly lost his life to a brain tumour at the age of nine in November 2010, only seven months after his diagnosis, and his parents Debs and Andrew set up Tom’s Trust a year later. Tom received treatment at Addenbrooke's Hospital, creating a lasting connection between the hospital and Tom's Trust. The charity remains dedicated to the families it has supported and formed close relationships with over the years.

Moving forward

Tom’s Trust has maintained a continued dialogue with our families in the East of England since the announcement of the funding takeover to better understand their ongoing challenges and where funding can be driven next. In 2024, Tom’s Trust will introduce a new role which will address a number of unmet needs faced by these families.

The new role will be a transition specialist who will ensure that teenagers living with the after-effects of a brain tumour and its treatment will have a smooth transition from paediatric services to adult health services – something which currently happens at the age of just 14. They will support them as they forge their own independent paths and enter their adult lives.

If you have any questions about the new role, as a family directly affected by a brain tumour or as a professional, please email Rebecca@tomstrust.org.uk

Tom’s Trust expresses immense gratitude to all its supporters, acknowledging that none of these significant developments would have been possible without their invaluable contributions.

The past ten years 

 

 

 

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