Art therapy sessions by a newly-launched charity aim to bring relief to children in the island who have medical conditions or disabilities.
The Teapot Trust has set up an Isle of Man branch for children and young people to have one-to-one sessions with an art therapist in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services unit at Noble’s Hospital, Braddan.
Joint founder Dr Laura Youngy MBE said: ’Having done a pilot at the unit, we realised there is a need in the Isle of Man and that it is worth setting up a Manx charity to run art therapy for wellbeing.’
Dr Young - who spent part of her childhood in the island - created the charity with her husband, John, in 2010 after their daughter Verity died at the age of eight.
Verity had suffered from a long-term autoimmune disease called lupus and later cancer. It was discovered that art kept her calm while receiving tests and treatments.
Dr Young said playing with clay, paints and pencils was not only fun, but gave her daughter something positive to take home at the end of treatments and helped her to express how she was feeling
She said: ’The idea for the charity began before her death. I remember seeing this woman trying to bring her five-year-old to his appointment knowing he was sick of scans and I thought: "I’m not the only one struggling when trying to bring my child in for an appointment". I felt I really had to do something.’
The charity has brought single and group art therapy sessions to hundreds of children in several hospitals across the UK. Dr Young added that sometimes children are given screens to occupy themselves in hospitals, but having art sessions enable children to explain their frustrations and provide them with coping tools for future.
Having launched at a private function on Tuesday at Arragon Mooar in Santon - owned by inventor Dr John Taylor OBE who is Dr Young’s father - Tea Pot Trust Isle of Man is aiming to raise £10,000 to provide six-to-eight sessions a day.
A Christmas tree will sit in Noble’s Hospital’s foyer from December 1 where people and businesses can sponsor a decoration for £100 that will go towards a professional art therapist.