Laura Young, founder of East Lothian-based charity theTeapot Trust, has received a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s New Year Honours List in recognition of her services to chronically ill children in Scotland.
Laura and husband John Young 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, aged just eight, in 2009.
The Teapot Trust provides hospital-based art therapy to children with chronic illnesses in seven Scottish towns and cities: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Dundee, Aberdeen, Kirkcaldy and Melrose, plus Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.
In 2015, the Teapot Trust provided over 3,000 hours of art therapy and interacted with 5,215 children.
On receiving the award, Laura Young said, “Being given an MBE is a great honour and it is wonderful to have recognised the work that we’ve been doing over the last five years. Of course, the award is testament to the contribution of our therapists, support team, volunteers and very kind donors, who make our work possible.
“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 children with medicalised routines next year.”
Being named in the New Year Honours List is the latest of many awards and recognitions that Laura and the Teapot Trust received in 2015. In December the charity received two awards at the Charity Champions Awards: Charity of The Year (income under £250,000) and Children’s Charity of The 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.
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.”
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.
Laura graduated from the University of Bristol in Chemistry, BSc Hons Graduate Trainee, Science Museum, London
Junior Curator, Medical Collections & Science Box exhibition team
Visitor Services Manager at Exploris Aquarium, Portaferry Northern Ireland
Project manager in Visitor Attractions industry in Northern Ireland
Full-time mother and carer
With husband wrote the children’s book Sandy Starfish
Registered charity set up: Founder and Chair of Trustees Teapot Trust, and fundraising begins
Edinburgh RHSC Rheumatology Group begins 26 September (first provision of art therapy)
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
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
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
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
Laura Young awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List