Fri 05 May, 2024

Katie Piper on National Prison Radio 

The inspirational television presenter, writer, activist and survivor of a shocking acid attack in 2008, Katie Piper OBE, has been interviewed by the National Prison Radio team at HMP Styal about why she supports people in prison.

During a visit to the salon in HMP Styal in Cheshire – the second home to National Prison Radio – Katie spoke to National Prison Radio presenter ‘A’ about her belief in the importance of rehabilitation. 

Katie regularly volunteers in HMP Send and HMP Bronzefield and has also spent time with women in US prisons.  

She told National Prison Radio she was really excited to be at the salon in HMP Styal. She said employment and upskilling are vital to rehabilitation and essential in helping people build confidence and find a sense of purpose. 

As a trained beauty therapist, Katie told the women working in the salon that they have an important role to play in helping people to feel good about themselves. 

Katie was the victim of an acid attack in 2008. She suffered severe burns and was left blind in one eye.

Following this attack, Katie has dedicated much of her life to campaigning for better awareness of the devastating impact of acid attacks. 

She has her own charity, the Katie Piper Foundation, that focuses on a different type of rehabilitation – burn rehabilitation and scar management, and she has seen first hand that with the right support, people are able to turn their life around.

She told National Prison Radio that she’s drawn to supporting people in prison because of her own experiences of domestic violence, abuse and trauma. 

She recognises that these experiences are familiar to many people in prisons, especially women. 

‘A’ says it took her to come to prison to reach out for support and utilise those vital services to change her life. Katie understood, having seen this first hand herself:

My time in prisons as a volunteer has made me realise there is a huge misconception around the residents, and actually for some people, when they first come to prison it’s the first time they’ve been offered [support services], or been able to access [support services], or for a lot of a woman it’s the first time they’ve felt safe and felt protected, so I think also the outside world has a lot of work to do to get rid of some of the prejudgment and misconceptions about the population here“.

Katie also told ‘A’ when you find yourself in a dark place, “you learn things about yourself that you didn’t know, maybe you might find that you’ve underestimated your strength and resilience”.  

National Prison Radio’s interview with Katie Piper will broadcast on Friday 7 June on NPR Friday.

National Prison Radio is the world’s first national radio station for people in prison. It’s available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on in-cell TV.

NPR Friday is our feel good talk show leading listeners into the weekend and ending the week on a positive note. The show is hosted by the women in HMP Styal and focuses on prison topics, interviews and features lots of laughter. NPR Friday broadcasts every Friday at 12:00 and 18:00 on National Prison Radio and reaches over 80,000 people behind bars across England and Wales.

National Prison Radio was founded by the Prison Radio Association – a registered charity. Shows like NPR Friday help people to cope with life inside prison and thrive on release. If you would like to support our work, and enhance the futures of people in prison across the UK you can make a donation at