On 22 August Ian Murray, MP for Edinburgh South, met with representatives from Teapot Trust, to see first-hand the charity’s art therapy service at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh and discuss its value as a lifeline for many local families.
The Scottish mental health charity, which uses art to bring healing and coping strategies to children and young people with chronic conditions, has been providing this unique service in Edinburgh for almost 8 years, resulting in thousands of hours of vital therapeutic support.
Ian Murray MP discussed with Teapot Trust the importance of art therapy as early intervention for children and young people with chronic conditions, to prevent adulthood mental health issues developing. They spoke about the tendency for ‘invisible’ chronic conditions to be overlooked or misunderstood in society, and how challenging the funding environment is currently.
The charity’s impact on Ian was clear, as shortly after the visit he spoke about Teapot Trust in the People’s Vote rally in front of hundreds of people in The Meadows.
Teapot Trust has committed resources to robust research to prove conclusively the impact of its work in children’s lives, so that it can advocate for policy change in arts and health strategies. Headline results of a comprehensive service review of work in Edinburgh and Glasgow hospitals will be shared with MSPs and others with an interest in health at a parliamentary drop-in event at Holyrood on 12th September.
In response to his visit, Ian stated, “Teapot Trust are doing incredibly valuable work to support children with chronic conditions in hospitals, but it is clear in the current fundraising landscape, that more support is needed to ensure these services can continue to run and help thousands more children”.
Chief Executive of Teapot Trust Sarah Randell stated, “We very much appreciate Ian and other public servants with an interest in health taking time to view our services to see and hear first-hand the transforming impact they have. Speaking out publicly, as he has done, about the challenges faced by children living with chronic debilitating conditions will help to create a more joined-up approach in arts and health policy.”
The charity supports thousands of children and young people and their families in 12 hospitals throughout the UK, from Inverness to London. Teapot Trust receives no Scottish Government or NHS funding. This means the charity relies on the support of individuals. Further details can be found at www.teapot-trust.org.