Loose Women panellist Katie Piper has revealed she nearly didn’t receive her recent OBE after she almost missed the date to accept.
Katie – who has been awarded the honour for services to charity thanks to her organisation The Katie Piper Foundation – explained she found out the news a couple of months ago, but that the story almost had a very different ending.
Speaking on the ITV show, Katie, 38, said: “Actually, it’s quite a funny story. When I first set my charity up eleven years ago, we very kindly had an office for free for the year.”
“And the award, for some reason, went to that old office address. So I didn’t reply back, so I nearly missed the cut-off date of actually accepting the honour.”
The mum-of-two continued to say that she found the letter and realised in the nick of time, and was thrilled to hear she’d been made an OBE.
Katie recalled: “Thankfully I just shaved through the acceptance date and actually got it.”
“It was a real surreal feeling, it didn’t actually feel real when I first heard.”
Katie went on to say that while she is over the moon to have been recognised, she wouldn’t have been able to have got this far without a team surrounding her.
She said: “It’s amazing to have it but it really is such a group effort. I know my name is on the charity but it’s a group of trustees, volunteers, staff and all the burns survivors, as well.”
“Over those eleven years people have come and they’ve helped the charity and then they’ve moved on. You can’t make change with just one person.”
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As her co-stars congratulated her on the amazing achievement, Katie also said that she’d managed to keep the news top-secret, as she was worried it would be taken off of her if anyone found out.
The star laughed: “I was really worried it would get taken away if I broke the rules, [so] I actually didn’t tell anybody.”
However, now the news is out there, Katie’s family and friends are thrilled for her – especially her mum, Diane.
Katie said: “It was a really poignant moment for my mum. I set up the charity originally for purpose, as well as to help other people.”
“It became a lot of structure in my life and my first way of going back into the professional world, and obviously it’s helped other people like me. It was quite a poignant moment for them.”
“I really must credit both my parents as it was my mum and dad that supported me when I couldn’t support myself that allowed me to go back in a professional role.”
She concluded: “Without them both, I couldn’t have set the charity up. They are that driving force.”
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