One of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations is teaming up with The Katie Piper Foundation in a bid to beat an ambitious fundraising target previously set by the charity’s patron, music mogul Simon Cowell.
deVere Group, which does business in more than 100 countries globally, is to start a relay of exclusive gala dinners around the world in London to raise funds and awareness for the UK’s only dedicated rehabilitation centre providing both remote and in-person support for survivors of burns and traumatic scarring.
The gala ‘baton’ will then be passed to the next nearest geographical deVere team, who will then do the same, but trying to beat the previous total raised.
This baton-passing will continue around the globe, everywhere the organisation has a hub office.
deVere Group’s Investment Director James Green explains: “It’s an idea based on the incredible fundraising work of Simon Cowell, who is patron of The Katie Piper Foundation.
“As Simon’s notoriously competitive – and so are we as a company – we thought we’d try and beat his hugely impressive work in order to raise money for and awareness of this incredible charity that provides practical, integrated rehabilitation, informed by the needs of survivors.”
Katie Piper is a best-selling international author, inspirational speaker, TV presenter and charity founder. She rebuilt her life after surviving an attack in March 2008 at the age of 24. In 2009, while still in the early stages of recovery, Katie set up the Foundation.
Their aim is to help survivors to move forwards in their rehabilitation journey and to rebuild their lives. Their vision is of a world in which scars do not limit function, social inclusion, or well-being.
Each survivor we support receives a tailored programme of scar management, specialist physiotherapy, survivor-to-survivor support, goal-focused activities, and well-being support.
One of the charity’s core services is providing both mental and physical rehabilitation for survivors who are often left in a complex and lifelong web of challenges. These often include new visible differences, disability, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and survivor guilt.
The story of Katie’s injuries is no secret. Katie’s Channel 4 documentary, My Beautiful Face, came from her own powerful need to tell her story, to show the world the impact of acid attacks, burns, and scars can have on someone’s life, career, hopes and dreams.
From that grew a belief in Katie that burns and scars don’t have to mean accepting second best.
She says: “I’d written my first book about the attack and everything that had happened as a result, but I couldn’t get it published at that time – even though everyone I spoke to about my story agreed it needed to be shared. In the end, I approached my contacts in TV from the work I’d been doing before I was hurt, and the documentary happened.
“I’d seen the worst of humanity, and now I was met with generosity, hope and possibility. My physical treatment was progressing, I was seeing a difference in my burns and scars, and now I was beginning to believe that this was a world I wanted to live in again. For the first time in a long time, I had hope.
“But that hope wasn’t only for me: I needed to share it with others. I’d find myself sitting in waiting rooms with other survivors who hadn’t had the treatment I’d had, and their progress was so much slower than mine was. I’d think: ‘This can’t be it. There has to be a better way.’
“The documentary really gave me the platform I needed to launch the charity. I was 25, with no experience in charities – I’d never even had an office job.
“But around me, I found the people who believed in my vision to transform burns rehabilitation in the UK, and together we founded The Katie Piper Foundation. It was borne from faith, hope and kindness.”
Of the alliance with deVere, Katie says: “I recently spent time talking to deVere Group about what motivates and inspires me following my experience as a survivor of burns.
“It was clear to me that the motivation and passion shown in the culture, and particularly from James Green, mirrored that of our team and survivors at The Katie Piper Foundation.
“I am thrilled that they have chosen to support our ambition to continue supporting both mental and physical rehabilitation for survivors of burns and traumatic scarring across the UK.”
The deVere Group Investment Director concludes: “Every penny raised by our global relay of gala dinners in some of the world’s most exciting cities will go directly to support the invaluable work of The Katie Piper Foundation.”