STOP PRESS: Today, Laura Young was awarded her certificate by Lord Dunlop of Helensburgh, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, at the new children’s hospital on the South Glasgow site (photos available on request).
Laura Young and husband Dr John Young have been given the prestigious ‘Points of Light’ award by Prime Minister David Cameron for their contribution to the community with the Teapot Trust, a charity which provides art therapy for children with chronic illnesses.
The ‘Points of Light’ award celebrates volunteers who make a difference to their communities, and was developed in partnership with the hugely successful US scheme of the same name.
Receiving the award, Dr John Young said, “It’s an honour to have been recognised by the Prime Minister for our work with sick children. We in turn must recognise the backing of our brilliant team and all of the generous organisations, foundations and individuals that make our work possible.
“When Laura and I founded the Teapot Trust in 2010, we couldn’t have imagined the way that it has grown and the positive impact it has had on so many young lives. The last five years are a source of great pride for all involved in the charity.”
Laura Young and Dr John Young founded the charity after seeing the gaps in the care of their daughter Verity, who suffered from Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE) and also cancer before her tragic death in 2009.
The Teapot Trust provides art therapists for sick children in medical settings, with a particular focus on children suffering from rheumatological conditions. Art therapy can give children an alternative way to communicate their emotions, a distraction from their conditions, or even just a chance to have fun while waiting for appointments and medication.
The Teapot Trust has since expanded rapidly to deliver support to children in medical environments in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Dundee, Aberdeen and Kinross.
Due to the charity’s success, it was invited to start providing art therapy to children in the Penguin Ward atGreat Ormond Street Hospital, London in November 2014 – the first time that it had worked outside of Scotland.
Last year, the Trust provided art therapy to 3,528 children over 2,652 hours, in a mixture of group and individual session formats.
It employs 12 sessional art therapists and has an office based team of one full-time and two part-time staff.
Laura Young said, “John and I are delighted to have received such prestigious awards – the 7th and 8th for Scotland – from the Prime Minister, who values the work charities are playing within communities. He also understands that young children haven’t always got the vocabulary to express how they are feeling, which is one of many reasons why art therapy is so beneficial.
“In 2015, we are going to provide over 4,000 sessions of art therapy to sick children in Scotland, so we’re going to need all the help we can get.”
The Teapot Trust needs £250,000 each year to run all of its services. It employs over a dozen sessional staff and has an administrator, all of whom Laura leads to fulfil the charity’s objectives.