Tuesday 29th September 2015
Mac Voice, the magazine for Macmillan professionals: Autumn 2015
We need your help in prompting and promoting applications for this wonderful initiative. It sends a package of gifts to children requiring treatment for brain, central nervous system or intracranial tumours
Tom’s Gift was created by the Tom Grahame Trust in partnership with Macmillan in December 2013. Through this initiative, a colourful package of gifts is sent to children aged 16 or younger requiring treatment for brain, central nervous system or intracranial tumours. The scheme was inspired by a young boy, Tom Grahame, who loved giving and receiving presents. Tom was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour and died after 18 long months of treatment soon after his sixth birthday. More than 200 children have received Tom’s Gift.
How the scheme works
- This simple form is completed by the child’s family and their supporting health or social care professional.
- The child, supported by their family, redeems the voucher in store or online on anything they find enjoyable and is offered a moment of distraction from their treatment.
A moment of joy
Adama Otter, CLIC Sargent Paediatric Social Worker, has made a number of referrals to the scheme and says, ‘Seeing the difference Tom’s Gift makes has encouraged me to support multiple applications. It helps improve the mood of the child, especially when they are so isolated as a result of frequent hospital appointments, long stays and being away from peers because they are not able to attend school as a result of treatment and side effects.
‘It fits well with the other ways that we support patients and families, in the sense that it’s a gift for the child to put a smile on their face, whereas most of the time, grant applications are for essential items. I have told my colleagues about Tom’s Gift. I will continue to encourage others, as I feel it’s something that makes a difference in injecting a little joy in the midst of sadness and isolation.
‘The way I see it, if this scheme can help make people’s lives just a little bit easier, I should do my best to help promote it.’
How you can help
If you know a child who requires treatment for a brain, central nervous system or an intracranial tumour, please tell their family about Tom’s Gift. We’d also appreciate it if you could let any relevant colleagues know about the scheme and how it may fit in with the support they currently provide.
You can find out more information and download application forms and posters for your waiting rooms from macmillan.org.uk/tomsgift
Photo: Tom Grahame with his mother Corisande