Rather than us telling you why you should come along to our Big Weekend event in Birmingham in March, this blog post is made up of feedback from previous attendees of our earlier Big Weekend events, held in London (2014), Manchester (2015), Glasgow (2016), Birmingham (2017) and Bristol (2019). Read on for our ten reasons you should join Alopecia UK in Birmingham… 

1. Find out about products and services that can help

“Exciting to try different wigs” 

“I was able to dip in and out of everything without any pressure”

“Particularly enjoyed learning about all the different types of wigs”

“Lots of useful brands and stalls”

2. Meet others who ‘just get it’

“It was amazing – first time I’ve ever met people with alopecia. Loved it!”

“I love being with people who know what it’s like to have alopecia”

“I’ve never met so many people with alopecia in one place”

“First time to one of your events on my own, but l didn't feel on my own as it was so rejuvenating and uplifting to see so many people exactly like you”.

3. Listen to talks from experts in alopecia

“I really enjoyed hearing about the latest research”

“I loved the conference side of the event – getting up to date information on what’s happening in the research world”.

“The talks and workshops were informative, research-based and helped develop my understanding of what is and isn’t the reality of current scientific knowledge”

4. Build your confidence

“Attending the Big Weekend built my confidence and reassured me that I’m not alone”

“It was empowering”

“These events have been so good for my self-esteem; each year I get just that little bit more confident with me”

“This event gave me the confidence to be more experimental with wigs and headwear. It’s opened me up to options that I never realised existed”

5. Feel comfortable to do something different

“For the first time I felt comfortable taking my wig off in public. I found it an amazing experience to be with people with the same condition”.

 “I’ve never felt particularly comfortable in wigs but having met lots of people at the Big Weekend who were wearing fantastic wigs, and having access to suppliers, I wore a wig for the Saturday night social; something I would not normally do!”

“I felt the weekend was a huge turning point for me. I never imagined that I would get a Henna tattoo and venture out in public without my wig”

6. Socialise and have fun!

 “Brilliant. Really good fun!”

“It was fun! I met new friends and let my hair down so to speak – not that I have any hair to let down!”

“I had a really fun weekend. It was a fantastic social event for me”.

“Lots going on, plenty of opportunity for networking, talks and laughter!” 

“The party on Saturday night was so much fun – I love a good dance!” 

7. Make new friends

“So good to meet so many people with alopecia. Lovely to be with others people who think it’s normal to shop for hair in their lunch break, pack more wigs than tops and pop their hair on and off for photos! Seriously, it was very empowering to be with a group of people who are your kind of normal”.

“It was amazing to see people in person who I’ve known for years online”

“Beautiful people – inside and out. So welcoming and friendly”

“I have been to all the Alopecia UK Big Weekends and would not miss any. It’s a great weekend with all the people I now consider my alopecia family”.  

8. Learn new skills

“I can now use false eyelashes”

“I probably got most out of talking to the stall holders. They were all very friendly and it was good to pick their brains about stuff I haven’t really discussed with anyone”

“The beauty of the suppliers being there is that they sat you down and demonstrated how to tie scarves in different ways." 

9. Bring along a family member or friend to support you and gain their own understanding of alopecia

"I accompanied my adult daughter who has Alopecia totalis. She was very nervous and found it very emotional. But both of us were amazed at the kindness and friendship and support given to her by event team, auk staff members, volunteers, speakers, exhibitors and other attendees. Wow it was great"

10. End the weekend feeling uplifted and inspired! 

“It was amazing. Uplifting and inspiring”

“I returned home feeling upbeat and positive”

“Each time I’ve been to a Big Weekend I’ve left feeling really happy and more confident within myself. Thank you!”

Alopecia UK’s Big Weekend takes place in Birmingham City Centre from Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th March 2023. Some people come along on their own whilst others bring a partner, friend or family member. It’s totally up to you! One thing’s for sure, you’ll be made to feel very welcome. We hope to see you there!