The Teapot Trust is a UK charity providing a nationwide art therapy and creative interventions programme for chronically ill children in hospitals and hospices.
Our work aims to build resilience in children with chronic illness by encouraging them to express emotions, mentally overcome the challenges linked to their condition and develop healthy coping mechanisms. Participating in art therapy can contribute to positive mental health, provide peer interaction and a sense of community within the hospital environment and introduce new skills.
The Teapot Trust was founded in 2010 by Laura and John Young after the death of their daughter Verity. Verity had to spend lots of time in hospital and she began to dread her hospital visits. Eventually Laura and John discovered the only thing that would calm her down was if they arranged for her babysitter to be there so they could do arts and crafts together. This is when the idea of the Teapot trust was born.
After Verity’s death, her parents found a note she had written that said ‘Big or small, there is always a difference only you can do.’ They decided to focus on this and help other chronically ill children cope with the emotional and mental strain that so often comes with their condition.
The Teapot Trust now has 17 art therapists working across Scotland and London and we provide three different art therapy services. The Open Groups take place in the hospital’s outpatient department. Any child attending the clinic, along with their siblings, can come to our art table to paint, draw or model clay and engage with an art therapist if they wish. We provide Ward Based art therapy for children who are too sick to get out of bed or who are undergoing transfusions. These children often have increased anxiety or needle phobia issues, both of which can be helped by art therapy. Our 1:1 art therapy supports children who are perhaps struggling to cope with the challenges of their condition. This model works particularly well with children who find it difficult to express themselves verbally.
The services we provide are appreciated by both parents and clinicians. The mother of a child who attended one of our Open Group sessions told us: ‘The art and craft activities provide a distraction for my 7-year-old daughter as she waits… It promotes talk and interaction with other children around the table and is a lovely medium for her to interact with other children with type 1 diabetes and other chronic illnesses.’
Dexam supports the trust by providing teapots as and when the trust need them. If you want to find out more about The Teapot Trust then go to the following link https://www.teapot-trust.org/