A Musselburgh-based charity providing art therapy for children with chronic conditions in hospitals is receiving a four-figure funding boost

The financial help from Aberdeen Standard Investments Charitable Foundation will support 16 children and adolescents with rheumatological conditions at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.

The charity, The Teapot Trust, seeks to provide support through its art therapy sessions, providing a safe space where children can use non-verbal and verbal communication to deal with and express difficult feelings.

Children's artwork
Children’s artwork

The charity receives referrals for children with life-changing conditions from across Scotland.  These children often require additional support to help them develop ways in which they can learn to cope with their condition and to find ways to express themselves.

Eilish McDowell, fundraising manager at the Teapot Trust, said:  “Children referred to us need individual support. They might have a fear of needles or find it difficult to express themselves verbally – our service helps these children who would not otherwise have access to this type of support.

“Rheumatological conditions such as lupus are very common in children, yet there is very little funding and support for this type of life-long incapacitating condition. That’s why our charity aims to aid in rebalancing this issue to help ensure those with life-altering conditions have the same opportunities to access support.

“We are absolutely delighted that Aberdeen Standard Investments Charitable Foundation is supporting our 1:1 art therapy service for children with rheumatological conditions in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh. As we receive no NHS or government funding, support from companies such as Aberdeen Standard Investments Charitable Foundation is vital in enabling us to continue working with our young artists.”

The charity explained that art expression is considered as a form of non-verbal communication in fields of psychological practice and research. Children with difficulty articulating their emotions and thoughts can use this type of self-expression to communicate what might be difficult for them to put into words. 

Those with a chronic condition or physical disability may have difficulty dealing with their situation, often resulting in stress and anxiety for both the children and their family members.

Through its art therapy projects, the charity aims to support the local communities by enabling children to build resilience and process their feelings they may have regarding their illness or hospitalisation.

Claire Drummond, head of charitable giving for Aberdeen Standard Investments said: “Our ability to communicate can sometimes be taken for granted and we forget some people – especially children- do not find it easy articulating their thoughts and emotions.

“The Teapot Trust has taken the initiative to cater for these children by safeguarding their mental health through art therapy and help them grow up with the strength and skills to become valued members of their community.”

For more information on the ASI Foundation click here.