Scotswoman of the Year: Teapot Trust Laura’s mission to help children in need


Since her middle daughter, Verity, passed away from Lupus and cancer aged just eight years old, Laura has devoted her time and energy to establishing and running the Teapot Trust.

The charity employs 17 art therapists and runs 22 projects in 11 towns and cities from Inverness to the Borders, helping children with long term health conditions cope with hospital stays.

Verity spent much of her short life in hospital coping with illness and art helped her get over her fear of unpleasant treatments and injections.

Laura saw the difference the art therapists made to her daughter’s life so when Verity died, she wanted to be able to help other children and families in the same way.

“We are called The Teapot Trust to symbolise the support, friendship, security, discussion and relief that a cup of tea provides,” says Laura.

“Verity, loved “proper” tea (complete with a teapot and cake!) and we want to offer metaphorical cups of tea to people like her and their families who so desperately need support and comfort.”

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.

Laura has led the charity’s fundraising to the tune of almost half a million pounds and she remains the driving force behind its inspirational work across Scotland.

“I’m overwhelmed to be nominated for SWOTY,” smiles Laura. “It was such a lovely surprise, completely unexpected. I don’t do the work, the art therapists do, but I’m delighted to be recognised in this way.”