Meet the team
Dr Louise Brown, Clinical Psychologist
Originally from North Cornwall, after leaving school, Louise trained as a nurse, before taking a degree in Psychology. Her interest in cancer was sparked by a placement on a haematology ward, and followed up by research for a Masters in Health Psychology, during which she researched the experiences of men diagnosed with testicular cancer before the age of 25.
After researching also into breast cancer follow up, and cancer patients from Guernsey treated away from home, she trained as a Clinical Psychologist, then worked in Derriford, variously with rehabilitation patients, obstetrics, gynaecology and cystic fibrosis, as well as teaching staff connected with oncology, and in the Pain Management Service at Torbay Hospital.
Now she considers herself fortunate to have the opportunity to work in Cornwall with people with cancer. With her training and experience in Clinical Psychology, she can carry out detailed, person-centred assessments to enable her to choose from a wide range of psychological interventions, tailored to someone’s needs. In this way the intervention fits the person, rather than the other way around. This is important for the teenager and young adult service where age-appropriate treatments, facilities, advice and support for patients and their carers and loved ones is paramount.
LARF funds Louise to support TYA patients and their families during their cancer journey for one to two days a week. For the rest of the week Louise works as the Macmillan Lead Psychologist at The Cove supporting adult patients.
Nicola Clapson – Teen and Young Adult Specialist Cancer Nurse
Nicola is working as the TYA specialist nurse while Hannah Heayn is on maternity leave between August 2017 and June 2018, when Hannah returns.
Nicola’s background is in oncology, haematology and chemotherapy, and she has worked in the Headland Unit and on the Lowen Ward for many years. She has been working in palliative care more recently, and knew Hannah was due to take maternity leave, so considered applying for the post of TYA nurse. She says ‘I thought, “What would I want for my kids, if they were in this situation?”‘ and that decided her!
Nicola is working on Tuesdays and Wednesdays with teens and young adults, and in the palliative care team for the rest of the week. She brings a raft of experience to the post, and is quick to point out that she loves her job.
We’re happy to have you on board too, Nicola!
Debbie Charles – Play Specialist
Debbie Charles, and have been working with LARF since its early days, and knew both Rosie and Lauren, working with them as they were receiving treatment on the oncology ward at RCHT. She says “It was a pleasure to see their friendship grow through many ups and downs. They always had a smile and enjoyed every minute of the time that was given to them, it was this that made me start to see what I could offer the families of children suffering with cancer.”
Her role, as Play Specialist, is to support the patients she works with through their treatment, in any way she can, to make their day even a little bit better. Her first event, working with LARF, was to take a group surfing at Crantock Beach, and she thoroughly enjoyed helping LARF in this way, seeing other children enjoy events like this, in the way that Rosie and Lauren had.
She has been busy tracking down attractions and venues throughout Cornwall to which groups of children can be taken, and successful events have included ice skating at the Eden Project, beach fun days, Easter and Christmas parties, meals for the older youngsters, and bowling. In essence, a time when the children and young people can simply be ‘normal’, with no illness, having fun with their families.
There is a regular monthly chat group for parents, which is invaluable for them, enabling them to meet with others who know what they’re going through.
To find more about Debbie’s work funded through LARF, see our ‘What we do’ page.
An All-Day Jamathon will be taking place on Saturday 7 July, raising money for LARF!
Toast Bar in Falmouth holds a regular jam session on a Tuesday night, called Jam on Toast, obviously, and this is an extension of that.
Regular players at Jam on Toast include Russell Gibson and Dixie Van Hoorn, who have raised money for LARF before, at Jacob’s Ladder, but they’re hoping to raise even more money this time. read more…
Wharfside Shopping Centre, Penzance, are holding a Fun Day raising money for LARF and Great Ormond Street Hospital.
They are promising huge amounts of fun for all the family, at the event which takes place on Saturday 2 June, from 10am to 4pm. This is the Saturday at the end of half term, so take the whole family down for a great time!
There will be free entertainment, face-painting, games and activities. read more…
St Michael Lodge have adopted LARF as one of their charities of the year, and are holding a Music Social night on Saturday 19 May. read more…