Katie Piper was supported by celebrity friends last week as she hosted an emotional Christmas carol service in aid of her charity foundation.
The presenter, model and activist was joined by Amanda Holden, Simon Cowell and his fiancée Lauren Silverman at St Peter’s Church in London’s Belgravia, where guests were moved to tears as she and fellow burns survivors who have been helped by her charity told their stories.
Katie, 40, who suffered life-changing injuries in an acid attack in 2008, even made light of her most recent eye operation, describing putting on her singular false eyelash for the evening’s celebrations.
Simon, whose nine-year-old son Eric was watching from the pews, fought back tears as he read a poem and paid tribute to his friend.
“I was thinking about you Katie, when we first met, months after the awful thing happened to you, and I thought about the fact that you are so committed to what you do,” the music mogul told her. “You talked about helping thousands; I think you’ve helped millions. It’s given so many people confidence in so many different ways and my respect and admiration grows each year for you.”
Lauren was equally emotional as she read the poem “One” and said: “Katie, I describe you as a warrior. You inspire me to be a better person, you radiate positivity and a great force of nature.”
There were more tears during a performance Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Natalie Rushdie and Oliver Poole, before Amanda, who sparkled in a green sequin dress, lightened the mood with a rendition of the humorous alternative poem ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas (A Poem for Parents). Meanwhile Katie’s daughter Belle, nine, joined male vocal group The Tenors to sing a solo of Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer.
Later, Amanda told Hello! “I am so proud to be here this evening and support Katie and her brilliant charity which helps so many.”
Simon, who is patron of the Katie Piper Foundation, also spoke of his admiration for his friend, telling us: “Katie is so determined and committed to what she does, and is tireless in her work. Whilst some would do this for two or three years and give up, Katie hasn’t – if anything she’s become more passionate. Katie talked this evening about The Katie Piper Foundation helping thousands, but the reality is, she’s helped millions believe in themselves. Katie is incredible, and a great, loyal friend to us.”
Lauren added: “It’s hard to find the words to express how amazing Katie is, and what she means to us, and everyone here. She inspires every day and makes us all better people. I am so proud to support her work and be here this evening on this special occasion.”
Meanwhile Katie said she was “humbled” by the support she had received and added: “I am equally as grateful for the long-term and consistent support Hello Magazine have given me and the charity. Fundraising and awareness has never been more important to us, so to celebrate the work we do in such intimate, festive setting really is wonderful.”
To donate to Katie’s foundation, visit https://katiepiperfoundation.org.uk/
Special thanks to St Peter’s Church, Eaton Square and Fr Jonathan Kester and sponsors deVere group, Katie Brindle and Lester Aldridge.