Dr Laura Young MBE, co-founder of Scotland-based charity the Teapot Trust, has been named Evening Times Scotswoman of the Year.
The Teapot Trust provides art therapy to sick children across the breadth of the UK. The value of the charity’s support to children and families in hospitals was recognised by Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood, who tweeted ‘Huge congratulations to an amazing woman really helping sick children & their families – learning from her own experience.’
The Teapot Trust was founded by Laura and Dr John Young in 2010 after seeing the gaps in the care of their daughter Verity, who suffered from Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE Lupus) and also cancer, before her tragic death at the age of eight, in 2009.
Young won the prestigious award, which has been running for 54 years, for co-founding and her voluntary work with the Teapot Trust which provides clinically qualified art therapists for chronically ill children in hospital, with a particular focus on children suffering from rheumatological conditions.
Art therapy can give children an alternative way to communicate their emotions, a distraction from their conditions, or even just a chance to have fun while waiting for appointments and medication.
Young, who received a standing ovation when she collected the award, said: “I’m really touched to have been awarded such a huge accolade, and it’s a great reflection on the work that all of our art therapists are doing and the generosity of donors. All the finalists are amazing – I dedicate this award to the work of art therapists and female friends.”
Evening Times Editor Graham Shields said: “Laura is an outstanding example of courage in the face of adversity. Despite devastating personal grief, she never lost sight of what she wanted to do – to create a service she knew would help countless families during the darkest of times.”