Katie Piper seems to have the ability to find the positives in every given circumstance, including when it comes to turning 40.
While some people dread the thought of hitting the milestone age, the writer, activist and presenter - who is known for her beaming smile and incredible work within the scar and burns survivor community - is definitely not one of them.
Speaking to the Standard shortly after celebrating her 39th birthday, Piper explained: “For me, every birthday is a privilege because some people don’t get to see 39 and that’s their only wish to be able to, so I would never be somebody that tries to attach shame to aging.
“I’m not much of a party animal so don’t expect a big party from me, I’m more about being with people I love and care about – friends and family, that sort of thing.”
She does like the idea however of taking on a challenge in the lead up like Hollywood actress Rebel Wilson, who called 39 her “year of health”.
“I think health and happiness is all we really have because anything else is bought so it doesn’t really mean anything if you don’t have that basic foundation,” Piper reflected.
One thing she is passionate about keeping up is her charity work.
“I set up my own charity for burns survivors, The Katie Piper Foundation, 15 years ago and being a part of that, seeing other people’s strengths and spirit in the face of adversity really restores my faith in human spirit and society.”
Piper says one of her favourite things is getting to be around people who inspire her and she recently had the opportunity to be in a whole room full thanks to a new initiative with Belvita.
The biscuit brand’s Smile Spreaders campaign is all about the power and importance of spreading positivity in our communities through the simple act of a smile.
New research carried out by them found that 61 percent of Brits feel they need a boost of positivity in the colder months, and 76 percent agreed that receiving a smile from someone brightens their day.
For the campaign, the Loose Women star teamed up with four local heroes who have each gone above and beyond in their communities to spread positivity.
They include: Oyovwe Agatha Kigho, founder of the Widows Empowerment Trust, Stefan Simanowitz, brain child of ‘Take One, Leave One’ initiative, Sam Pritchard, who is behind the ‘Cards Fighting Loneliness’ initiative, and Jacky Alder, a local wonder woman who cooked, shopped and dog-walked for elderly residents in her community of Brackley throughout the pandemic.
“They all had the same thing in common - it was initiatives off their own back that they decided would either transform their local areas or help people in need, and they will be doing all these things voluntarily,” she elaborates.
They all posed for a series of photos capturing their smiles which were taken by world-renowned celebrity portrait photographer, Andy Gotts.
Piper was absolutely delighted with the outcome and hopes it will encourage other would-be smile spreaders, saying: “We don’t realise the true impact our smiles have on others – it’s a small gesture that can really change someone’s day.
Follow the #BelvitaSmileSpreaders hashtag to view the positive portraits and share your own hero smile spreader from your community.