Big changes come from our Small Grants

Olivia Fraser uses art to help her relax and communicate to medical staff about her health condition

To mark the latest round of awards from Theirworld’s Small Grants Programme, we look at the work of a previous recipient - the Teapot Trust.

Olivia Fraser has a rare health condition that disrupted her education and affected her confidence. She struggled to communicate with doctors and nurses about how she felt.

But art therapy has changed that. Making colourful, patterned designs before her hospital appointments has helped the 15-year-old relax, explore her feelings and talk more easily to the medical team treating her for CAPS, an auto-inflammatory condition that causes painful mouth ulcers.

Olivia works with art therapist Patricia Watts through Teapot Trust. The charity, based in Musselburgh, Scotland, supports children and young people experiencing trauma because of their physical health conditions.

Last year Teapot Trust received financial help through Theirworld’s Small Grants Programme. It awards up to £10,000 to registered charities and non-profits helping disadvantaged and overlooked young people in the UK and around the world. Another 17 organisations will receive grants this year.

Olivia, who wants to be a children’s nurse, said: “Having someone to talk to while doing art to express my feelings is amazing.

Olivia Fraser draws bold, colourful patterns to help her explore her feelings

“My art therapist Patricia has not only made me feel more confident about going to hospital, she also helped me share my views to the doctors and nurses.”

Olivia was referred to Teapot Trust by the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow because she was struggling to communicate verbally during regular appointments at a rheumatology clinic – despite having attended for years. The mouth ulcers also impact Olivia’s ability to eat and drink and affected her confidence about her appearance.

She has had more than 50 art therapy sessions with Patricia, which have boosted her confidence. Olivia has raised a significant amount of money for the charity and also joined the Youth Participatory Board at Teapot Trust. She now speaks to other young people about her experiences.

Her mother Claire said: “Olivia loves going along to her appointment with Patricia, as she dreads every other visit to the hospital and feels Patricia listens and understands her feelings as an individual.”

This year’s Small Grants go to…

Abraham Kriel Bambanani NPC (South Africa)

Providing education to 60 vulnerable children aged three to six at The Johanna Malaan Early Childhood Development Centre in Johannesburg.

Action for Development (Switzerland)

Developing and providing a home-based digital learning programme to 250 adolescent girls in Afghanistan.

Awareness for Child Trafficking Africa (South Africa)

Assisting orphanages by providing food relief, hygiene packs and school stationery packs, and infrastructure improvements.

Blossom Trust (India)

Providing access to education and health care to children in Kalakudi and Kuruchikulam villages affected directly or indirectly by HIV or tuberculosis.

Deaf Girls Rescue (Uganda)

Providing employment and school sponsorship to 10 deaf girls in Wakiso District through greenhouse farming.

Ebinezer Women Welfare Sangam (India)

Promoting day care centres for the children of women working in coffee plantations in Yercaud Hills. The centres will reach 100 children and provide them with meals, preschool education and monthly medical check-ups.

Fortune Learners (Kenya)

Providing education fee support, scholastic materials and food to 100 vulnerable children aged two to 14 from the Kayole Slums in Nairobi.

Happy Child International (United Kingdom)

Delivering skills training to 40 at-risk young people aged 15 to 19 in Recife, Brazil, in either Industrial Mechanics or Administration and Coaching to access employment.

The Let Cerebral Palsy Kids Learn Foundation (Nigeria)

Providing small business development training to low-income mothers of children with cerebral palsy who have become business owners because they are the child’s sole carer.

Nanziga Women Development Initiative (Uganda)

Delivering vocational training to 100 teenage mothers in the Namungoona Slum area in Rubaga Division.

Sibling Support (United Kingdom)

Funding the part-time employment of an administrator to assist Sibling Support with day-to-day tasks.

Sunbeams London (United Kingdom)

Providing holistic mentoring to 30 disadvantaged young people aged seven to 16 in North London.

Training & Empowerment Academy (South Africa)

Providing a three-month eLearning programme to youth, including work experience placement and digital equipment such as laptops.

Unatti Foundation (United States)

Funding the education of 20 girls in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Upokulio Somaj Kollan Foundation (Bangladesh)

Providing primary health care and nutrition services to 300 school children of Pekua and Mognama unions in Cox’s Bazar District.

Vulnerable Aid Organization (Ghana)

Promoting education in a vulnerable community by rehabilitating the Brewaniase M/A Junior High School building in Accra, which was destroyed by a rainstorm.

Zambia Orphans Aid (United Kingdom)

Training 60 teachers in three Zambian community schools to provide psychosocial counselling, menstruation advice, sexual health education and careers advice for 600 vulnerable adolescent girls.

How to apply for a Small Grant