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On Tuesday 20th November, Martin Whitfield MP hosted a drop-in event at the UK Parliament for Scottish charity Teapot Trust. Held at Portcullis House, the drop-in, Do Art Daily, gave MPs a chance to learn about the charity and produce their own artwork with Teapot Trust art therapist Flisan, who works at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Dozens of MPs attended the drop-in and tweeted their support for Teapot Trust’s work using the hashtag #DoArtDaily. As daily life becomes increasingly fast paced and digital, Teapot Trust wants to encourage incorporating some form of creativity into your daily routine, whether that be painting, sewing, knitting, pottery or even a daily doodle! Teapot Trust believe that in addition to healthy habits such as eating well and getting enough sleep, art and creativity can have a positive affect on mental health and wellbeing and can be an integral part of the ‘5 Steps To Wellbeing’ recommended by the NHS.

A member of Parliament for East Lothian, Martin Whitfield MP was previously a primary school teacher. Martin has a special interest in the value of art in relation to health, which he spoke about, with mention of Teapot Trust, during the Westminster Hall Debate, ‘The Arts: Health Effects’ in October 2017.

Speaking about the parliamentary drop-in, Martin Whitfield MP said “I was delighted to host this drop-in event for Teapot Trust. It provided an opportunity for the charity to chat to MPs and Peers about its work and encourage them to show off their artistic skills by producing some art of their own in support of the Trust’s work.

Many of my colleagues talked about how impressed they were by the services offered by the Trust, and some said they had constituents who had benefited from them.

The event has undoubtedly helped raise awareness and understanding of the charity’s work and the huge difference it makes to the lives of the children with chronic illness who access its services.”

Dr Laura Young MBE, Founder and CEO of Teapot Trust, said “This drop-in event was a fantastic opportunity for us to tell Parliamentarians about our work and the difference art therapy can make to the lives of chronically ill children.

By having more decision-makers supporting and advocating for art therapy, we hope that its beneficial effect will be available to even more children in hospitals throughout the UK.

I want to thank Martin for hosting the event for us and all of the MPs who took time out to join us and help spread our positive ‘do art’ message.”