Inspiring women treated to VIP experience
Four inspiring women have been treated to top-to-toe pampering experiences by leading names in beauty and fashion as winners of Karen Betts' Gift of Confidence prize.
The winners were chosen by Karen and her team as they scoured the UK to find four Very Inspirational People (her VIPs). Each has overcome great adversity and challenges in their lives, contending with such things as cancer, homelessness, amputation and alopecia.
The four Very Inspirational People chosen for this year's Gift of Confidence are:
Diana Armstrong from Chiswick
Due to the grief and stress of losing both her sister and best friend to cancer in the space of a few months, Diana lost all her hair. The following year, Diana was diagnosed with lung cancer and endured months of daily chemo or radiotherapy appointments plus surgery. Today, Diana is finally building her way back up again, is back to work, and has had the all-clear from her remission scans.
Tracy Dickinson from Nottingham
After being homeless from the age of 14, Tracy now runs Tracy's Street Kitchen in Nottingham where she cooks for around 130 people every Friday night. She organises clothes, sleeping bags and toiletries for the homeless, bringing together a team every week to look after ‘her homeless family'.
Carly Barratt from Colchester
Carly has alopecia universalis, and despite the understandable devastation this brought to her, she uses her experience to help others on their hair loss journey. Carly started a wig consultancy where she not only helps people find their perfect new hair but also offers emotional support. She also volunteers for Alopecia UK and Changing Faces, and is involved in many media projects so that she can make a difference to society's perception of the beauty ideal.
Sophie Harris from Devon
Sophie was born with a club foot and has endured many surgeries, having her leg amputated last February. Despite these challenges, inspirational Sophie is currently training to be an Endurance Athlete for the GB Paralympic Rowing team.
Karen Betts is a pioneer of permanent make-up treatments and was able to give all four of the VIPs' the perfect brows using her microblading technique as part of their pampering experiences. In addition, each was styled by Hayley Sparkes, make-up applied by HD Brows experts, hair styled by the Errol Douglas team, and massages, manicures and pedicures carried out by the team at the Agua Spa at London's Sanderson Hotel. In addition, clothes were gifted by Next and the Katie Piper Collection by Want That Trend.
The winners showed off their new looks at the Gift of Confidence event at the Sanderson Hotel, hosted by Katie Piper. Also in attendance was motivational speaker for the evening Alex Lewis, an advocate for rehabilitation and overcoming obstacles. Alex, founder of the Alex Lewis Trust, is a quadruple amputee who was given a very low chance of survival following a Strep A infection. Karen is working with Alex using her permanent lip treatment to rebuild his lips and form shape back to his mouth.
Watch the video of the winners' transformations here.