The Hannah Dennis Alopecia Awareness Award is in its fourth year, and we received some brilliant nominations. As ever, we were blown away by the fabulous young people who have been busy over the last 12 months raising awareness of alopecia.

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the young people who were nominated this year, and introduce the 2023 Hannah Dennis Alopecia Awareness Award winner, 11-year-old, Cameron!

Congratulations Cameron on being named the winner of the 2023 Hannah Dennis Alopecia Awareness Award! How did you feel when you were told that you had won this year's award?

I felt really amazed, joyful and thankful for it. 

Tell us about the things you have done to raise awareness of alopecia…

I have been in two pantomimes one not wearing my wig at all. All the promotions were without my wig so I was on the side of buses and posters etc, which raised lots of awareness. As a result, I was interviewed by the BBC and the Eastern Daily Press about acting and alopecia and got to go on BBC Breakfast Live! I did a bake sale and presentation at school to raise awareness of alopecia and to raise money for Alopecia UK. I wrote a blog for Alopecia UK's website (which you can read here) and have done a documentary with Sian Reeves on my experiences with alopecia, acting and being a child with alopecia (which you can watch here). I no longer wear my wig so people can see my alopecia all the time and I’m happy to talk to people about alopecia.

What do you think is the best thing about having alopecia, and what’s the most annoying thing?

The best thing is being unique and the most annoying thing is having no hair because I’d like to be able to style my hair. I also lost my eyelashes and that was annoying because everything went in my eyes. 

If you could tell everyone just one thing about what it’s like to have alopecia, what would that one thing be?

There’s a lot of staring, both good and bad! 

Over to Cameron's mum Victoria..

Why do you think it’s so important to raise awareness of alopecia?

Alopecia is life-changing and unpredictable and so it can have a devastating impact on people’s lives. Raising awareness of alopecia can help to lessen this impact. Firstly, it is important to raise awareness as part of accepting and inclusion of visible difference and any kind of difference in our society. Secondly, raising awareness is important in enabling more treatment options for people. Whilst Cam is happy with her appearance there should be viable options should she wish to have any treatments. Related to this is improving awareness in general amongst the medical profession, though we are currently well supported. It’s horrible as a parent to realise that you know more than the medical person in the room even if you know very little, this is then worsened by the lack of options and occasionally empathy, especially for children. 

How has being involved in awareness activities impacted on Cameron’s experience with alopecia?

Raising awareness allowed Cam to take back control over the alopecia. Cam sees her role as making space in society for children with visible differences. Cam has become more confident since developing alopecia and raising awareness of it has given her a purpose. Alopecia is not happening to Cam, Cam is happening to alopecia. 

How did you feel when you were told that Cameron had won this year’s award?

We were so excited for her. We are always immensely proud of her but it’s great to see all her hard work acknowledged via the award. 

Congratulations to Cameron on being our 2023 Hannah Dennis Alopecia Awareness Award winner. And well done to award finalists Alfie, Eliza, Helena, James and Tommy. Alopecia UK continues to be impressed, inspired, and grateful for the efforts of young people in raising awareness of alopecia. 

Hannah Dennis is a much-loved volunteer and supporter of Alopecia UK who sadly passed away in 2018. Hannah did so much in her life to raise awareness of alopecia after she was diagnosed with alopecia areata at the age of 14, losing all her hair at the age of 16. Alopecia UK is proud to have this award in her name and continue her legacy.