24 February 2016

Expansion for East Lothian charity after 2015 success

Inspirational charity case study: The Teapot Trust based at our Cockenzie Business Centre has major expansion plans after an amazing year in 2015.

One of our East Lothian customers is planning to expand after an amazing year in which it was named Charity of the Year and its founder was made an MBE.

The Teapot Trust, based at our Cockenzie Business Centre, provides professional art therapy to chronically ill children at seven Scottish hospitals, as well as Great Ormond Street in London. The charity, which was established in 2010, has had plenty to celebrate over the last 12 months:

  • In December, it was named Charity of the Year (income under £250,000) and Children’s Charity of the Year at the Charity Champion Awards, which aim to recognise Scotland’s charitable sector.
  • The Teapot Trust’s founder Laura Young was made an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours.
  • In July, Laura was given an honorary doctorate from Queen Margaret University in Musselburgh, East Lothian.

Starting up the charity​

Laura started the charity after the death of her eight-year-old daughter Verity in November 2009. Verity had Lupus, an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells and organs and she had to spend a lot of time in hospital. She later developed cancer.

Laura found that art helped her daughter cope with the endless injections and blood tests she had to go through. After Verity’s funeral, she looked for a charity which provided medical art therapy to donate the collection to and when she couldn’t find one, she decided to start her own. Laura says,

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 that make our work possible.”

In June, Laura and her husband John were praised by Prime Minister David Cameron who named them as Points of Light – an award that recognises outstanding individual volunteers and people who are making a change in their community.

He said at the time: “Laura and John have taken the awful experience of losing their daughter Verity and used it to selflessly dedicate their lives to finding a way to help other sick children. The art therapy their work has provided has helped thousands of children with serious illnesses across the country, helping them to feel more in control of their condition.”

More services launched at hospitals

2015 also saw the charity expand its services significantly.

  • Marchthe Teapot Trust began offering its services to both inpatients and outpatients at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
  • August: the charity began open group services – art sessions for children attending outpatient appointments - at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy and at Borders General Hospital in Melrose.
  • September: it started a one-to-one service for children needing focused support at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

The Teapot Trust is looking to launch even more services this year, planning to introduce its one-to-one services to Borders General Hospital, Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital and Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy. It also intends to expand its community engagement programme and start two art therapy research projects. It has already started the year well, by introducing its one-to-one service at the Child Psychiatric Unit in RHC Glasgow 

Characterful business space in Cockenzie

Our Cockenzie Business Centre, where the Teapot Trust is based, is in a former school, built in 1865. The attractive, historic building has bright, airy offices and a meeting room for hire. It also benefits from its own car parking facilities and 24-hour access.

For more information contact Business Centre Manager Gavin Luna on 0141 221 2123.