I was honoured and privileged to receive an Honorary Degree in Health Sciences from Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford. It was great to celebrate the achievements of all the students and to watch them being rewarded for their years of studying. I wish them all success and happiness in the next stages of their lives. My charity, the Katie Piper Foundation has worked closely with the university’s post graduate medical institute to further research into the treatment and after-care of burns and scars. I invited my family along to watch the ceremony, and was delighted that my daughter Belle was allowed to watch too! She was very well behaved but completely unaware of what was going on! Never mind, we have some photos to show her when she’s older.
I always love the Pride of Britain ceremony, it is a chance for ordinary people to be honoured for doing extraordinary things. Some have saved lives, some have changed the lives of others and some have spent their own lives helping others. To see these people and hear their stories is always an emotional but inspiring experience. This year I was honoured to present a Pride of Britain lifetime award to Sir Roy Calne, a medical pioneer who helped to develop the anti-rejection drug Cyclosporine used by transplant patients. I have a very good reason for feeling grateful to Sir Roy as I had to take the drug after my cornea transplant, so it is thanks to him that my doctor was able to restore some of the sight in my damaged eye.
October 12th was my 31st birthday and I celebrated by taking part in the Royal Parks Half Marathon! I persuaded my sister Suzy to run with me, we were raising money for my charity, the Katie Piper Foundation. We were both pretty tired by the end of it but had great support from the people watching so it was worth the aching legs the next day! What a great way to spend a birthday!!
The Marriott Hotel group asked five thought leaders to design their ideal hotel guest room. I was described as a Fashionista Mumpreneur so I designed a child-friendly room with a muted, restful colour scheme with soft lighting and clean lines, kitted out with all the equipment a young couple with a baby would need: baby monitor, bottle steriliser, fridge and the all important coffee machine! The public were asked to vote for their favourite room and the most popular elements will be built into one design and shown off at Westfield London from October 27th to November 2nd 2014.
I loved going on “Loose Women” as a guest so you can imagine how excited I was to be asked to be one of the presenters on the show on 11th September! During my recovery my mum and I would often watch it together, never dreaming that one day I would be a guest let alone one of the presenters! I sat with Andrea McLean, Nadia Sawalha and Jane Moore. One of the guests was Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall who talked about his new book and how he loves to eat squirrel pie! Not sure if I like the sound of that! All the “Loose Women” were so friendly and chatty and I had a great time sharing my views and opinions and talking about my new book “Beautiful Ever After.”
The 10th of September saw my new book come out, it was a very exciting time but I was also very nervous. Would people buy it? Would they want to read any more of my story? I had put a lot of work into writing it and had to draw on memories that were upsetting but there were also uplifting parts which I hoped would make people smile. When you read my book I would love to know what you thought of it so please leave a review on Amazon and if you liked it then why not buy another copy for a friend’s Christmas present!
On July 24th I was asked to speak at “The What Matters Conference and Concert” on World Merit Day. The key note speaker was Malala Yousafzai the 16 year old girl who was shot by the Taliban because of her campaign for girls to have a right to an education. She gave a very inspiring talk which was well received by the audience.
World Merit day is a chance for young people to be inspired by speakers from all walks of life with the aim of reaching out to members of the upcoming generation and inspiring positive change and to be a global force for good. I was very proud to add my voice to help to get this message across.
On Sunday July 20th I took part in the Tunnel 2 Towers 5k Run. This run originated in America in memory of the emergency workers who lost their lives in the 9/11 terror attacks. It was the second time I have done this run in aid of my charity The Katie Piper Foundation and I was keen to get my running shoes back on after having my baby in March, and was looking forward to supporting the other KPF runners. We started in Southwark Park and ran through the Rotherhithe tunnel to Wapping and then finished in Billingsgate Market. There was a real party atmosphere at the end of the run and I am pleased to say I really enjoyed it! If you want to run it with me next year then please get in touch!
On Tuesday 1st July I opened a fashion show at Queen Anne’s School in Caversham. The show was organised by teacher Dr Valerie Vincent and a committee of sixth-form girls who had chosen the Katie Piper Foundation as the charity they wanted to support. The models were pupils from Queen Anne’s and Reading School and the clothes were provided by shops in Henley, Caversham and Reading.
I was so pleased that the younger generation were aware of the charity and wanted to help. The girls worked extremely hard, going out into the community, knocking on doors, looking for gestures of goodwill and putting together a brilliant show. The event raised £2,000 for the Katie Piper Foundation which will be used to make a difference to the lives of burns survivor.
This was my first official engagement since having my daughter in March and it felt great to be back!
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