Great Ormond Street Hospital, Scottish charity the Teapot Trust will start providing art therapy, which is proven to be effective in reducing anxiety and helping ill children to communicate their feelings.
The Teapot Trust was set up in 2010 and now delivers art therapy in medical environments in six Scottish cities, supporting those suffering from rheumatological illnesses in particular.
Laura and 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 name of the charity was inspired by Verity’s love of proper teatime, complete with cake and a full china tea set.
Laura said, “Art therapy is a powerful tool and can make a huge difference to the lives of chronically ill children.
“One of the most difficult things for many children is expressing themselves verbally – art therapy provides an alternative medium of communication.
“This often builds confidence, which helps children cope with their conditions.
“If children are worried about being in hospital, art therapy can also be used to help them to relax.”
The Teapot Trust will provide an art therapy table in the Great Ormond Street Outpatients Department and a qualified art therapist, who will spend two days a week working on the Penguin Ward.
The charity, which is working south of the border for the first time, will provide the therapy free of charge for six months before seeking backing through fundraising and partnership grants.
All art therapists working for the charity are clinically qualified, with postgraduate-level training and extensive experience of working with children.
In 2013 the Teapot Trust provided open group art therapy to 2,682 children and one-on-one sessions to 32 children across Scotland.
The Teapot Trust does not receive any statutory or NHS funding and is reliant on the generosity of individual donors and grants from trusts and foundations.