East Lothian-based charity the Teapot Trust, which provides hospital-based art therapy to children with chronic illnesses, has received two awards at the Charity Champions Awards: Charity of The Year (income under £250,000) and Children’s Charity of The Year.
This is the latest of many awards and recognitions that the charity has received this year – Laura and John Young, co-founders of the Trust, were named Points of Light by David Cameron in June and Laura was given an honorary doctorate from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh in July.
Renowned Scottish artist and playwright John Byrne also donated his painting ‘West of 8th’ to the charity, which was auctioned by Lyon & Turnbull for a staggering £20,000 in in December.
Laura Young said, “It’s great to have the hard work of the whole team recognised, and the Charity Champions Awards we’ve been given provide us with a foundation to achieve even more in 2016.
“Our operations are steadily expanding and although we are incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved in 2015 we want to place more art therapists in hospitals further afield to help more sick children next year.”
In 2015, the Teapot Trust provided over 3,000 hours of art therapy and interacted with 5,215 children.
Laura and John founded the Teapot Trust in 2010 after seeing the gaps in the care of their daughter Verity, who suffered from Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) and also cancer before her tragic death in 2009.
The Teapot Trust provides art therapy in medical settings for children with chronic illnesses. Laura said, “Art therapy is a powerful tool and makes a huge difference to the lives of chronically ill children.
“One of the most difficult things for many children is expressing themselves verbally – the great thing about art therapy is that it provides an alternative medium of communication.
“This builds confidence, which helps children cope with their conditions.
“If children are worried about being in hospital, or for example frightened of needles, art therapy can also be used to help them to relax.”
Since its inception the charity has experienced rapid growth and is now working in seven Scottish towns and cities: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Dundee, Aberdeen, Kirkcaldy and Melrose, plus Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.
The main focus of 2016 for the charity is to continue providing its current services and fundraise for a programme of research. It also hopes to begin one-on-one work in the Borders and begin a group art therapy session in the outpatients department of St John’s Hospital, West Lothian.
The Teapot Trust also hopes to raise enough funds to start providing art therapy to the remaining six NHS regions of the Scottish Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology Network (SPARN).
It receives no statutory funding and, with little confirmed year-on-year income and no investments, relies completely on donations to continue its operations.
1990 Laura graduated from the University of Bristol in Chemistry, BSc Hons
Graduate Trainee, Science Museum, London
1992 Junior Curator, Medical Collections & Science Box exhibition team
1995 Visitor Services Manager at Exploris Aquarium, Portaferry Northern Ireland
1997 Project manager in Visitor Attractions industry in Northern Ireland
2000 Full-time mother and carer
2005 With husband wrote the children’s book Sandy Starfish
2010 Registered charity set up: Founder and Chair of Trustees Teapot Trust, and fundraising begins
2011 Edinburgh RHSC Rheumatology Group begins 26 September (first provision of art therapy)
2012 Edinburgh RHSC Oncology Ward 2
One-to-one art therapy at RHSC Edinburgh
Glasgow RHSC Yorkhill Rheumatology Group
CHAS Rachel House Hospice
Glasgow 1-2-1 Art Therapy
Runner up in Clarins and YOU Magazine, Most Dynamisante Woman of the Year
2013 Dundee Paediatric Rheumatology Group at Tayside Children’s Hospital
Part-time book Finance Manager Starts
Winner Inspiring Volunteer Achievement Award, City of Edinburgh Council
Family Hero for Scotland 2013
4Children and Take a Break Magazine Awards 2013
Part time Project Manager starts
2014 Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital Rheumatology Group
Tayside Children’s Hospital, Ninewells, Dundee 1-2-1 art therapy
Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, Paediatric Rheumatology Group
Administrator and Community Fund-raiser employed
Clinical Manager Employed
CEO role created
Laura named Tesco Charitable Mum of the Year
Teapot Trust celebrates its fourth birthday party
Teapot Trust operating in 6 Scottish cities and expansion plans announced
2015 Grants assistant employed
Laura and John Young named Points of Light by David Cameron
Laura Young awarded honorary doctorate from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh
‘West of 8th’, donated by artist John Byrne, sold for £20,000
Teapot Trust named Charity of the Year (income under £250,000) and Children’s Charity of the Year at Charity Champions Awards