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Aimee’s story – Making all things possible

Aimee was an aspiring golfer from the age of 16, the day she became a plus-two player, at just 25 years old, a family bonfire turned her life upside down. The wind suddenly changed direction and the flames engulfed her. Aimee sustained 58.5% body burns and was in a coma for 27 days. Aimee recalls waking and not knowing if she was dead or alive. 

Altogether, Aimee was in the hospital for 257 days. She has undergone countless surgeries and was told she would probably just walk again but was unlikely to play golf let alone compete.

Since then, Aimee has been supported by The Katie Piper Foundation where she has had an individualised package of care designed around her need, including specialists working together to provide for her physical and psychological needs. This was done collaboratively in line with the goals Aimee set for herself.

Aimee said,
“Who knows what my future would have been like without Katie and the Foundation? With the support I have had, I am now living the life I had only ever imagined for myself, I owe The Katie Piper Foundation my life”.

This year Aimee achieved a huge milestone, she became The Lady Captain of her Golf Club, and on the 7th of May 2023, she won the Somerset Ladies County Championship – goals she had only ever dreamed of. 

Aimee is a remarkable young woman who dreams of becoming a professional golfer and playing for her country. Aimee recently held a Gold Day in aid of the Foundation and raised a staggering £10,000 and will continue to fundraise during her captaincy year which we are so grateful for. She has defied the odds of the medical teams, and her courage, passion, and determination to raise her confidence and adapt her technique to her injuries show formidable strength.

In Aimee’s words ‘she’s doing all that she can to create this life because she survived’.

David’s story

Following the deaths of his mother and brother in quick succession, David, a construction site foreman, was having problems sleeping. He was so exhausted he visited an emergency GP one Saturday evening who prescribed sleeping tablets. He took one when he got home and fell into a deep sleep on the sofa in front of his gas fire.

He woke to find his dog, Cain, tugging at his leg, and quickly realised the room was filled with smoke. He struggled to find his feet, but managed to get out of the house, and made sure Cain was with him and out of danger too.


Not immediately realising the severity of his injuries, he called a taxi firm he regularly used and asked them to take him to hospital, not thinking for one moment that he actually needed an ambulance. The taxi driver immediately saw how serious David’s injuries were, with his entire upper torso burnt, and having to put out fire in David’s hair when he arrived.

He rushed David to hospital where the trauma team took over; this is the last David recalls as he was immediately placed in an induced coma.

Quite simply, if it hadn’t been for Cain, David knows he wouldn’t be here.

David first approached The Katie Piper Foundation in 2020, 3 years after sustaining his injuries. He was dependent on alcohol, sleeping on the sofa, not leaving his house and in a poor psychological state. He regularly considered taking his own life and couldn’t see a future.

The Katie Piper Foundation worked with the NHS to enrol him on a drug and alcohol detox programme and then, once he had stopped drinking, began intensive and bespoke rehabilitation support.

With significant and specialist psychological support, David has been able to come to terms with the emotional impact of his injuries. We provided a personal trainer and physiotherapy services, enabling David to improve his scarring and regain his physical strength – to the point where he can now take Cain on daily walks again.

We empowered him to make changes and improvements to his living arrangements and worked with him to improve his mental health and wellbeing.

David was proud to be the first patient in our new rehabilitation unit this summer where, alongside other therapies, he engaged with a career consultant, and is now starting to move towards returning to work – something he didn’t ever envisage being possible.

David’s journey demonstrates the impact our work has on survivors, and how we support people to not just survive but thrive in life again.

Looking for a new inspiring and creative leader

We are beginning our search for a new Chief Executive Officer at The Katie Piper Foundation. The charity has made huge progress in delivering impactful rehabilitation services for survivors of burns and traumatic scarring over recent years. We are now looking for a new leader who can bring their drive and passion to steer the next chapter for the charity. 

Please click on this link to view the job pack:

Download Job Pack

The closing date for applications is Friday 28th April and interviews will take place during May.

If you have any questions about the role, please email Julien Werenne at jwerenne@therivergroup.co.uk.

 

Founder Katie Piper given OBE in New Year’s Honours List

Founder Katie Piper is now Katie Piper OBE after receiving an Honour from Her Majesty The Queen!  Here’s Katie’s reflections about this special start to 2022.

“Dear supporters of The Katie Piper Foundation,

This is without doubt, one of the happiest times of my life. I am so honoured to be recognised on the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list for services to charity and survivors of burns.

The Katie Piper Foundation has been my life’s work. It’s now into its second decade and I’m very proud to say that we’ve helped and rehabilitated thousands of survivors of burns and people with scars from traumatic incidents, with their physical and mental recovery. Funded purely by voluntary donations, we launched and founded the UK’s first and only live-in rehabilitation centre so that having a brighter future after burns can be for the majority, and not the minority of survivors.

My doctor and my family were there at the start of my journey. They were my crucial support in the early days when I was still very much recovering. They helped me to see that we could turn kind people’s donations and offers of help to me, into hope and action for others.

Carrying on through the years, the charity and the honour is in my name, but so many survivors are at the heart of it all. To them I say thank you, thank you, thank you.

This is a very special time for my family, my teammates, all survivors of burns and me.

This OBE is ALL of us.

Thank you for following, supporting and joining my life’s journey.”

Katie Piper, OBE.

Katie at lecternKatie Piper OBE

Words of thanks and congratulations have been flooding in from survivors, including from Adele, also a survivor of an acid attack, and one of the first people that Katie’s charity gave access to rehabilitation to.  Adele said “I don’t know where I’d be now if it wasn’t for Katie Piper and the help of her Foundation. Katie Piper is so selfless and if she can help in any way she always will. She does this privately, without it being in the public domain.  I really have her to thank entirely as I wouldn’t be here, accepting my scars, back in work, accepting my past and having a life without her.”

The Katie Piper Foundation’s CEO Sarah Green said “I want to extend the Foundation’s thanks to the survivors who took the time to nominate Katie. This OBE is such a huge milestone, but it certainly isn’t the last or the biggest to come for Katie, the charity, or other survivors. If we carry on working hard and being dedicated to Katie’s vision even in these tough times, we can create a circle of protection around how far we’ve come, and move on from the challenging times we’re in, together, towards an even brighter future for survivors.”

Emergency Appeal – Enable us to continue to provide survivors like Catrin with life changing support.

We are devastated to be in an emergency appeal. Catrin has not only been supported by The Katie Piper Foundation as a survivor of burns, but now works with us as a Physiotherapist. Watch this video to understand how The Katie Piper Foundation has supported her and how a future without us in unthinkable for survivors of burns and people with scars from traumatic accidents.

 

Donate Now

Save survivor services today

Emergency Appeal – Help survivors like Joe

Please watch this video to see the life changing support The Katie Piper Foundation offers survivors of burns like Joe. Joe was at work when he had an accident. Joe and his KPF support crew have worked incredibly hard on his rehabilitation so that he can again be the active and involved dad he was before his burns injury. This rehabilitation service is under threat. Please donate now so we can make sure all survivors reach their goals in 2022 and beyond.

 

It takes only seconds for burns to alter a life. It takes only seconds to donate

 

Donate Now

Save survivor services today

Emergency Appeal
Survivor Andreas Appeals for Your Support

“I’m a survivor of burns as a result of an acid attack that happened in a case of mistaken identity. This was me and my son before the attack.”

 

After the attack, I was left with blindness, breathing problems and a face that would never look like the old me again. I’m a loyal supporter of The Katie Piper Foundation, and I’m writing to ask you to join me in that support, at a time of emergency.

PLEASE DONATE

 

I’ve just heard from Johanne, the Head of Patient Services at The Katie Piper Foundation. She told me that 5 times more survivors of burns are turning to the charity in need of help, than before the pandemic. The Foundation does not have enough funds to help these people in crisis. This precious charity has no Government funding. This lifeline’s existence relies on supporters like us. Survivors need your help today.

Like me, you’ll understand that Covid has made things unimaginably hard for people thrown suddenly into mental and physical health crisis. I asked Johanne, what is it like for survivors specifically, who’ve suffered their burns and trauma during the pandemic? She said, “Andreas, over half of those we are helping come to us having had thoughts of suicide. I’ve never seen anything like it in my 20 years of working with people with complex health needs.”

I was one of the first patients to get life-changing care and treatment at their Rehabilitation Centre, the only one of its kind in the UK. By working with the healthcare specialists and survivors there, those seconds of violence didn’t put an end to my faith in humanity, my independence, or my ability to be a husband and dad.

 

So I know how vital it is that no survivors of burns are turned away. I am personally devastated at the thought of any threat to the amazing impact achieved every day by Katie and her team. Please help victims of violence in crisis. And all survivors who turn to Katie’s charity. They’re trying to find a way through their first Christmas with new disabilities, lost identities and little hope. You can guide them through with a donation today.

PLEASE DONATE

I asked Johanne and Katie if I could get in touch with anyone who’d ever shown compassion towards this essential charity to ask them to join me to save survivor services. I really appreciate the chance to write to you.

It takes seconds for a life to be altered forever. It only takes seconds to donate. Please donate to the Foundation’s first Emergency Appeal in its history.

With warm wishes

Andreas

Andreas, Survivor of Burns and Supporter of The Katie Piper Foundation

PLEASE DONATE

 

 

Driving Change in Rehabilitation – 10 Minutes with Samantha – burns specialist physio

18 months on from the first Covid-19 lockdown, we’re taking a look back at the impact of our Rehabilitation At Home service on survivors of burns and people with scars from traumatic incidents.  The digital, tele-rehabilitation service was created as soon as we learned that restrictions would mean a pause on hands-on care at our Rehabilitation Centre in Merseyside.

Watch and listen to our burns specialist physiotherapist, Samantha Bennett here, presenting in summer 2021 at the 20th Congress for the International Society for Burn Injuries.

Listen for the full 10 minutes to learn about how we can help you as a survivor and how we work with you as a healthcare professional.  Or dip in for 30 seconds here, and 30 seconds there for snapshots of how we help, such as one patient who was in a wheelchair for 10 years until he worked with our programme, and found that he could stand, giving him a sense of independence he didn’t imagine was possible.

After our first 10 years, what comes next? Sarah Green, Chief Executive outlines our new strategic direction.

When I started as Chief Executive at The Katie Piper Foundation in October 2018 I was bowled over by the passion, enthusiasm, focus and commitment to ensure the best possible support and impact for survivors of burns. The staff team was small but nimble and was in the early stages of establishing a brand-new clinical service, a residential Rehabilitation Centre – the first of its kind in the UK.

There was a real feeling of change and after I started, in quick succession, our first ever Clinical Director joined our team as well as a new Chair to the Board of Trustees. At a point where the charity was starting on a journey of new beginnings, moving the focus of our services and achieving one of our long-term goals, it seemed like a good time to ask…what happens next?

The focus to that point had been around sound structure and process and positioning the charity for the official start of rehabilitation services. This needed to continue and there was still lots to do but alongside this the charity needed a strong strategy to give a sustainable but ambitious focus for the future. Over the summer of 2019, the trustees, staff team and past charity beneficiaries worked together to ask many relevant questions about our organisation and services – what has and hasn’t worked well in the past? what would we like to have done more of? what do we think about the charity currently? and what do we believe should be the focus for the future?

The clear areas of focus of our discussions became – partnership working with the NHS, development of funding, the future of rehabilitation and governance & organisational development. We established working groups to look at each of these areas, challenging thoughts and developing ideas to come up with a shortlist of future priorities. After much discussion and debate we managed to crystalize these down to 3 main themes:

  1. Delivery of sustainable and bespoke services
    2. Further understanding the need and impact for survivors of burns
    3. Ensuring sustainable finances

These themes formed the basis of a new 3 year strategy, running from 2020 – 2022, a robust piece of work that I, the staff and trustees, intended would be regularly assessed and used to sense check our future actions and progress, ensuring we remain on track and relevant. As 2020 was the 10th year since our founding, it felt great to be putting a stake in the ground for the start of the next 10 years, laying out our intentions and ensuring that we continue to support survivors to the best of our ability. Practically the strategy will mean that we can develop our rehabilitation services to help more people in a way that is flexible and provides truly individualised care, it will also provide a framework to ensure that we listen to what is important to survivors so we can advocate for them and develop services accordingly.

We were at the launch phase of this strategy last year when, like everyone, we were thrown a significant curveball when Covid-19 hit. We had to quickly close our Rehabilitation Centre and develop our Rehabilitation at Home service, ensuring we were able to continue supporting survivors with their rehabilitation through such a difficult time. Although these developments had an impact on our ability to deliver some of the initial priorities in the strategy, our intention was always to create a strategy that would grow and evolve and this was tested earlier than expected in 2020. Now, as we begin 2021 we are working together, reassessing and adjusting to the ever changing situation and bringing the same passion, enthusiasm, focus and commitment to the new challenges we are faced with as we look forward to our next 10 years.

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