Recently we were contacted by a lovely lady in our community, Val, who was wanting some of our Children’s Story Booklets to help with talking about alopecia in school. Val was chosen to speak at her grandchildren’s school for ‘Role Model Week’. We caught up with Val to find out about her experience of raising awareness in school..

“I absolutely loved doing the talks at my grandchildren’s school. The children were so receptive and asked intelligent and relevant questions. They were all genuinely interested in learning more about alopecia. I read the stories from the booklets provided by Alopecia UK, which they really enjoyed.

When asked, quite a few of the children knew what alopecia was. To make the talks engaging, I gave the children an opportunity to name one of my wigs. They all wrote a name on a piece of paper. In the running was, Dave, Bob and Britney Spears! The name pulled out of the box was 'Sparkly Sabina' - I will be proudly wearing her in the Autumn and Winter months!

I kept the talks lighthearted but gave the children an insight into my own experience of living with alopecia and how important it is to be kind to others who are different from us. I shared that my motto is ‘This is Me!’ and it’s OK to be, and look, different.

After the talks, my daughter received numerous texts from other parents informing her that their children were telling them all about alopecia. I also had very positive feedback from the Assistant Principal who sat in on the first 3 talks and mentioned that there were quite a few children who participated and asked questions who wouldn’t normally!

I left the story booklets in the main school library for the children to read and also left some charity leaflets with the Assistant Principal. I also mentioned September is Alopecia Awareness Month and that blue is the colour! She has asked me to return in September to give my awareness talk in two assemblies, which will mean speaking to the whole school. 

I am so pleased that I was invited to take part in Role Model Week and I am delighted at how engaged the children were.

Finally, I bumped into one of the children in a local car park who called ‘hello’ from her car. Her mum and I had a lovely chat about the talk and how much her daughter enjoyed it. While talking to me, without the mum’s knowledge, her daughter drew this brilliant picture of me on mum’s phone. I absolutely love it, she got me perfectly!"