We’re honoured to have the incredible Katie Piper as our final Woman of Spirit for 2021. Ahead of World Kindness Day on 13th November, we caught up with the writer, broadcaster and activist to talk celebrating the extraordinary in others and finding peace and positivity in ourselves.
Throughout the year, we’ve been celebrating Women of Spirit who are working to make a real difference in the world: the leaders, the freethinkers and the voices for change that inspire us every day at Radley London. Katie advocates for positive change through her charity work, podcast and writing. We couldn’t wait to speak with her about her journey so far.
“Kindness is a key pillar in my life, and I’ve built everything around this word, and emotion. World Kindness Day is a chance to recognise the good in the world – after all, life can be tough and heavy a lot of the time. That said, kindness should be a continuous act, and should be celebrated and appreciated every day. A lot of people have shown me kindness over the years, so this is something very close to my heart.”
“This book was born out of an online community which formed during lockdown and Covid-19. I committed to reading daily positive affirmations via Instagram, and I received hundreds of messages saying how much they were helping others in a dark time. So, I collated my words, quotes and affirmations into a book. It’s a happy outcome of what was a difficult time for so many. It’s my second affirmation book and I’m very proud of it!”
“As cliché as it may sound, when you smile, the world smiles back at you. Hope, faith, and positivity have genuinely helped me survive my toughest challenges – mentally and physically. Through my charity, The Katie Piper Foundation, I see first-hand how hope, faith, positivity, and kindness saves and improves lives every day. My volunteers, medical team and patients have these qualities in abundance.”
“Thank you so much – after all these years, my podcast really is still my passion project. To speak to my heroes on a deep level is moving, and humbling. The best part of it is how diverse and eclectic the stories are. Each week I know someone is going to blow me away with their bravery and resilience. My most memorable guests have been Denise Bulger, Maggie Oliver, and Sue Hunter. All such strong, incredible women.”
“Thank you. They really help for numerous reasons but having perspective of other journeys and experiences is so helpful, and of course it gives me extra faith and assurance of the human spirit.”
“Well, I always try to practice kindness and gratitude but it’s not always easy. I am human and feel real emotion. If I find things get too much, I often take a break, from social media and from bad news, and reflect, journal, exercise and spend time with family. I know what tools I need to help keep my balance and I use them religiously.”
“Give it time. Tough times don’t last, but people do – and time really is a healer. Find what works for you. I find going for a run therapeutic – it re-sets me immediately, even in very dark times. This won’t work for everyone but it’s important for people to find their own joy.”
“In 2009, I set up The Katie Piper Foundation to help people with burns and scars to reconnect with their lives and communities. We are the only charity in the UK dedicated to delivering rehabilitation for burns survivors and those living with severe trauma scarring. In 2019, we opened the UK’s first ever burns rehabilitation centre and it continues to treat burns survivors from across the country.”
“I think we all have. For me it was the shock of lockdown, and the feeling of isolation from so many friends and family. Naturally I adapted, used technology in a positive way to keep up connections and focused on the positives, but I really did feel the worry I know many others felt too.”
“I am most proud of my children, and my charity.”
“Be grateful. Be positive. Be kind.”
“Worry is such a waste of time. All it does is steal your joy, and keeps you busy doing nothing much at all.“
“Absolutely. It’s my greatest achievement and I love my two girls more than anything in the world. It teaches you to love an indescribable amount but has also taught me to be organised in the extreme!”
“More acceptance for others, equality for women and universal kindness.”
“Don’t wait until there is tragedy in your life. Don’t wait until you lose somebody. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Appreciate the beautiful people that you have in your life now.”
“My children, and Dairy Milk!”
“A woman who is truly herself, with no apologies.”
“My mum Diane. A true individual and strong woman. Kind, stoic, and selfless.
“My best-friend Kay. She’s so fun.
“My two daughters, Belle and Pea. Such free spirits with so much love and innocence.”
Thank you, Katie. We’ve loved hearing how you maintain your positive outlook, something we can all take forward for the year ahead.
Need a helping hand with your Christmas shopping? Take a look at Katie’s gift guide. She’s selected something special for her loved ones from our new gifting collection.
If you missed our last Woman of Spirit interview, catch up with Paralympic swimming champion and gold medalist Alice Tai MBE.