Dr Laura N Young MBE, charity co-founder, has been shortlisted for the Social Entrepreneur of the Year category in Yorkshire, North East and Scotland for The Forward Ladies National Awards. These Awards recognise the achievements of business women throughout the UK and dedicate themselves to encouraging the growth and celebration of successful women.
Scottish charity, Teapot Trust was founded by Laura and Dr John Young in 2010 to provide art therapy for children with chronic illness in hospitals, with a specific focus on children suffering from rheumatological conditions. Laura and John set up the charity after seeing the gaps in their daughter Verity’s care, when she suffered from Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE Lupus) and cancer before her tragic death at the age of eight in 2009. Verity spent much of her young life coping with her illnesses, daily medicine regime and the effects that her treatments had on her. Art provided a way for Verity to express herself, as well as serving as a coping mechanism.
Art therapy can build resilience in children with chronic illness, providing an alternative way to express their emotions, a distraction from their conditions, or even just a chance to engage in something different whilst waiting for blood tests, appointments and medication.
Dr Laura Young said, “I am hugely honoured to have been nominated for the Social Entrepreneur of the Year category with the FL National Awards. It is marvellous to be shortlisted for such a prestigious business award. The art therapists are at the core of our work and their expert care keeps children going, but in the background the charity office keeps our services funded. The charity wouldn’t be here without them, so thank you to the office staff for keeping our “company” going.”
“Teapot Trust provides a friendly and supportive art therapy service to help both children and families cope with long term conditions that are often hidden. Children may be on quite strong daily drugs and have many visits to hospital, feeling life is unfair and “why me”? Teapot Trust art therapists are able to help them with this.”
Today, Teapot Trust is Scotland’s largest employer of art therapists with 20 art therapists, running 23 projects in 10 towns and cities, from Inverness to the Borders. It has also expanded into England, with art therapists supporting children at hospitals in London and Liverpool. A further 7 services are in development to begin shortly, many of them involving research to help build an evidence base for art therapy for children in hospitals.
Dr Laura N Young MBE is an extraordinary woman, whose own experience has provided her with the inspiration to make a huge difference to parents and families nationwide. This is a feat that we should all take great encouragement from. Laura’s pioneering work in establishing, running and rapidly growing Teapot Trust has been recognised by a wide range of people and bodies. In 2015 Prime Minister David Cameron named Laura and husband John Points of Light, an award reserved for those who contribute greatly to society. Later that year, Laura received an honorary doctorate from Queen Margaret University and in 2016 was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List in recognition of her services to chronically ill children in Scotland. In the same year Laura was awarded Evening Times Scotswoman of the Year 2016.
At the end of June this year, to mark the occasion of the NHS at 70, Laura attended a Downing Street Roundtable with other Points of Lights award holders to talk about NHS Charity and Volunteer working.