Tom Abbott

Tom’s role as Director of Income Generation means he is responsible for the income raised through our fundraising and trading teams. With experience in the hospice sector, Tom had previously worked in fundraising roles at Heart of Kent and St Catherine’s Hospice.

Covering many income generation roles, Tom has specialised in community and events fundraising. In the last three years, Tom has been Head of Fundraising and a sabbatical cover for Director of Income Generation at St Catherine’s Hospice, his start date coinciding with the initial Coronavirus lockdown.

Before joining the hospice movement, Tom worked in events and volunteering with universities and student unions as a self-employed consultant. He is also Trustee of the Hospice Income Generation Network, a school governor and runs a local football team.

“I fell into my first role in the hospice sector, although I had always wanted to work in an industry where I could have an impact and make a difference.  However, fairly quickly into my time at Heart of Kent Hospice I really found my motivation for the hospice sector.

“A childhood friend of mine, Claire, who I used to play with in the cul-de-sac where I grew up (back when kids played outside still!), received the sad news that her new husband, Matt, had cancer.  Matt’s early prognosis was good – he was young, fit and the cancer had been found early.  Matt had months of treatment and got better.  But his cancer returned and he was soon given the devastating news that it was untreatable.

“As Matt became more unwell I witnessed Claire, a young woman of my own age, change.  Claire had to give Matt his medication, to help Matt use the toilet, to clean up after Matt when he was sick, to try to keep Matt comfortable at home.  Claire was exhausted and she couldn’t cope.

“But that’s when the hospice stepped in.

“Matt came on to the IPU (In Patient Unit) where the amazing team got his symptoms under control, and gave Claire a break.  The hospice organised for a bed to be delivered to the house so that Matt could be comfortable at home.  When Matt went home, the hospice team visited regularly and ultimately when Matt died he had chosen to be back on the IPU which allowed his death to be supported and peaceful.

“In those final few months before Matt died, and thanks to the incredible contribution of the hospice, Claire was able to go back to being Matt’s wife rather than his carer.  That was so important to Claire and you could visibly see the difference it made to her.

“Claire, and Matt’s memory, are my motivation for working in this wonderful, emotive, special sector.”

Talking about why he chose to join Havens Hospices, Tom says, “Havens Hospices struck me as a really forward-thinking organisation, with an exciting future in the new hospice building.

“I have always been interested in contributing to hospice care for children and young people, something that has really grown in me since becoming a dad myself. My little girl is two years old, and I also have two teenage step-children so I look forward to learning more about Little Havens and The J’s.

“The income generation activity across fundraising and the amazing portfolio of shops looks fantastic, and with my experience I feel I can help us to move forward and grow, together, as a team. Like many charities, the challenge of recovering from the impact of Covid is significant and will likely last into the next few years with the probable effects the economy is still to fully feel.

“Equally, after such a challenging 15-months for us all, both personally and professionally, I will be putting a lot of energy into building strong, effective and engaging relationships across the wider organisation.  Clinicians, fundraisers, counsellors, volunteers, housekeepers, retailers, administrators – we are all one team, working for the same end goal.  And if we work together, we will also achieve more.”

Director of Income Generation Tom Abbott