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Project information

Art therapy for ill children in hospital

To fund professional art psychotherapy for children/young people with chronic or life-limiting illness. Art therapy is an extremely effective way to deal with many issues from physical pain to emotional distress. The project also includes research in GNCH’s award-winning Rheumatology unit.

18 months

Charity information: The Teapot Trust

The Teapot Trust logo
  • Need


    Children in hospital who are receiving treatment for chronic conditions usually have accompanying emotional and physical challenges. They may experience feelings of anger and frustration; anxiety over the future; loss of self-esteem; have body image issues and suffer difficulties with communication and social skills. The entire family is also affected, causing additional stress and distress in the home environment.


    Teapot Trust was founded to fight inequality in psychological support for chronically ill children/young people. We provide art therapy in hospitals as the process of creating art can help children cope with situations beyond their control. We help children develop and achieve skills to cope with their condition into adulthood; and through art communicate, feelings, hopes and fears for which they cannot find words.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To make a difference to the lives of young people with chronic illness who attend GNCH


    » Provide one day a week art therapy service in the Bridges School at GNCH

    What success will look like

    The service impact will be measured through NHS formal feedback and evaluation and softer feedback through case studies, vignettes/testimonials.

    Aim 2

    Delivering research measuring the impact of art therapy on children with rheumatological diseases


    » Provide one day a week art therapy service in the rheumatology unit at Great North Children’s Hospital

    What success will look like

    The research assessment will have its own strict methodology to measure success and should
    lead to a wider research programme in other art therapy services.

  • Impact


    Art therapy will support children/young people and help stop the cycle whereby poor mental health early in life has a significant impact on psychosocial development and can lead to long-term adult mental health difficulties, lower educational attainment and earnings.
    The assessment programme will have its own rigorous progress tracking methodology including the publication of the review, and the development of a “Logic Model” for further, future essential research.


    The main risk is the sustainability of the project as we receive no NHS or statutory funding. However, we have a solid fundraising plan for Newcastle and have identified a raft of trusts and foundations to apply to in the future. We have a strong communications plan including a service launch inviting the local community and key donors and partners, and an interview by a local TV broadcaster. In addition, The People’s Postcode Trust are extremely pro-active in promoting services they support.


    Project donors will receive bespoke 6 monthly reports with case studies of beneficiaries and testimonials. We will disseminate the research findings to donors. We will also invite donors to view the service first hand.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £19,423

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £16,200 Art therapy Art therapist fees
      £647 Materials Art therapy materials
      £300 Art cart NHS approved art cart
      £2,276 Management Support, conferences, appraisals

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    People's Postcode Community Trust £8,982 Guaranteed
  • Background


    We are setting up a 12-month systematic assessment of facilitated Art Psychotherapy in clinical settings in GNCH, Newcastle. The hospital’s award-winning Rheumatology unit is the only service in the North of England providing treatment for children’s rheumatic diseases; therefore provision of art therapy and accompanying research at the hospital is an important step in the adding to the body of evidence on the impact of art therapy not just at GNCH but for the wider paediatric community.


    Children/young people struggling to deal with chronic illness referred by the clinicians as in need of additional support. Art therapy on the rheumatology unit will be particularly vital as Paediatric rheumatologic diseases encompass a wide range of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases that are often complex multi-organ conditions. Children and young people with these diseases are at risk for poor mental health and worryingly increased risk of suicidal ideation.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Since 2010 we have provided over 24,450 interactions with children /young people (an interaction is defined as a child or young person attending an Open Group, Ward-based or 1:1 art therapy session.) Teapot Trust began in Edinburgh in 2010, and we now provide 26 art therapy projects in hospitals ranging from Inverness to London, with six more services opening this year as demand for our services grows. We are recognised as a key NHS charity partner in the current NHS at 70 celebrations.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Dr. Laura Young MBE

    Co-Founder - personal experience of the impact of chronic illness on family life inspired her to set up Teapot Trust, winning many awards.

    Mary-Rose Brady

    British Association of Art Therapists, Director of Operations and BAAT Lead for Children & Young People; Board Member and advisor.

    Dr Simon Hackett

    Associate Allied Health Professional Director and NIHR Clinical Trials Fellow – leading the research aspect of the project

    Kirsty Edwards

    Teapot Trust Art Therapy Co-ordinator; NHS and charity partnership lead with responsibility for art therapist appraisals and CPD

“My disabled child suffers so much from the disability both physically and emotionally. When she started art therapy a few months ago, her life transformed, her self-esteem increased… making everyone in the family smile a bit more.”

Mother of A, aged 8