Starting with being voted Tesco Charitable Mum of the Year in March and ending with introducing art therapy to Great Ormond Street Hospital, London in November, Laura Young has had an incredible year.
In 2015 she and her charity’s fundraising team of Linda Cessford and Rhianna Adams will need to generate £250,000. This is the largest amount that the charity has ever required in a single year.
Laura is the founder of East Lothian-based charity the Teapot Trust, which she and her husband John founded in 2010 after seeing the gaps in the care of their daughter Verity, who suffered from Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) and also cancer before her tragic death in 2009.
The Teapot Trust provides art therapy for children with chronic illnesses. 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 – the great thing about art therapy is that it 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.”
Since its inception the charity has experienced rapid growth and is now working in six Scottish cities: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Dundee, Aberdeen and Kinross.
In November the Teapot Trust were invited to start providing art therapy to children at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, which is the first time that the charity has worked outside of Scotland.
Speaking about the Teapot Trust’s expansion, Laura said, “We are reaching more of the children who need our help the most, but our job isn’t finished. Our aim is to continue to expand the charity and provide more art therapists around the country.”
This year the charity provided open group art therapy to 2,500 children over 1,550 hours.
It employs a team of a dozen sessional art therapists and has an office based team of one full-time and two part-time staff.
Since 2010, the charity has raised £485,000 for art therapy and in 2015 it will need to raise at least £250,000 in order to continue its work across Scotland and in Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Laura Young: Biography and Timeline
Since the time five years ago that Laura’s middle daughter, Verity, passed away from Lupus and cancer aged just eight years old, Laura has been devoted to establishing and running the Teapot Trust.
The charity is dedicated to providing art therapy to children with long term medical conditions.
The initiative was inspired by the Laura’s first-hand experience of seeing what was missing from her daughter’s experience and treatment plan while suffering from Lupus followed by cancer.
Laura was no stranger to the paediatric patient experience because her oldest daughter, Nina, was born very premature at just 30 weeks, weighing 2.5lbs. Nina is now a healthy teenager aged 14 and sister to young Isla aged seven.
Laura’s skills are an unusual mixture of science, art and planning, so running the Teapot Trust has allowed her to put these attributes together with spectacular results.
The Teapot Trust now provides art therapy around Scotland in medical settings, including clinics, hospital wards, and hospices.
After first being established in Edinburgh in September 2012, it has expanded to Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow, Inverness and Kinross to support children coping with the emotional and mental strain that so often accompanies their battle with illness.
With Laura working as the Founder, Chair of Trustees and Volunteer, she has led the Charity’s fundraising to the tune of £485,000 since its formal establishment as a registered charity four years ago.
The Teapot Trust now needs £250,000 each year to run all of its services. It employs over a dozen sessional staff and has an administrator, all of whom Laura leads to fulfil the charity’s objectives.
Laura is married to John and the family lives in Gullane, East Lothian.
1990 Laura graduated University of Bristol in Chemistry, BSc Hons
Graduate Trainee, Science Museum, London
1992 Junior Curator, Medical Collections & Science Box exhibition team
1995 Visitor Services Manager at Exploris Aquarium, Portaferry Northern Ireland
1997 Project manager in Visitor Attractions industry in Northern Ireland
2000 Full-time mother and carer
2005 With husband wrote the children’s book Sandy Starfish
2010 Registered charity set up: Founder and Chair of Trustees Teapot Trust
2011 Edinburgh RHSC Rheumatology Group
2012 Edinburgh RHSC Oncology Ward 2
One-to-one art therapy at RHSC Edinburgh
Glasgow RHSC Yorkhill Rheumatology Group
CHAS Rachel House Hospice
Glasgow 1-2-1 Art Therapy
Runner up in Clarins and YOU Magazine, Most Dynamisante Woman of the Year
2013 Dundee Paediatric Rheumatology Group at Tayside Children’s Hospital
Part-time book Finance Manager Starts
Winner Inspiring Volunteer Achievement Award, City of Edinburgh Council
Family Hero for Scotland 2013
4Children and Take a Break Magazine Awards 2013
Part time Project Manager starts
2014 Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital Rheumatology Group
Tayside Children’s Hospital, Ninewells, Dundee 1-2-1 art therapy
Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, Paediatric Rheumatology Group
Administrator and Community Fund-raiser employed
Clinical Manager Employed
Laura named Tesco Charitable Mum of the Year
Teapot Trust celebrates its 4th Birthday party
Teapot Trust operating in 6 Scottish cities and expansion plans announced
Laura loves crochet, knitting and sewing.
She heads out with her dog most days to walk on the beach. Holidays are often spent hill walking, skiing and climbing.
Laura has sung in a choir and played the flute, and would love to take up these hobbies again should some spare time come available.
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