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.
Yes, that’s right, Zafiros bar is hosting another I’m a Celebrity-style Bushtucker Trial on Thursday 1 March, from 7pm.
The money raised will be split between LARF and Walk the Walk against breast cancer.
How it works is that a bunch of brave (foolish) contestants are presented with soemthing unapetising to eat, and the crowd donates after each round, to keep their favourite contestants in for the next round. read more…
A brave young lady named Emily Putnam has decided to do two wonderful things to support children and young people with cancer.
Firstly, she’s having a hair cut, and donating around 15 inches of her beautiful long hair to the Little Princess Trust, to be used to make wigs for children who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment.
Every year the lovely people at King Harry Ferry choose an annual charity to support, raising money for this cause throughout the year, taking donations from their passengers. Foot and cycle passengers are able to travel for free on the ferry, which runs across the Carrick Roads, midway between Truro and Falmouth. However, pedestrians are asked to make a donation, to the ferry’s annual charity.
For 2017, LARF was the King Harry Ferry charity, and at the end of February, the owners presented us with a checque for £3,700! We were delighted to go aboard and receive the cheque. read more…