The following blog post started out as a post from me in the Alopecia UK Facebook Group, which I have adapted for our Blogs section..

In the month following the London Marathon, my inbox is busy with emails from individuals wanting to support Alopecia UK in the following year's London Marathon event.

Unfortunately, Alopecia UK is a Silver Bond charity which means we get the option to buy just one place every 5 years (in my opinion it should be called the 'Golddust Bond' as London Marathon places are like the proverbial gold dust!).

Each year, I reply explaining that we don't have lots of London Marathon places and unfortunately cannot provide a charity place. Unlike other charities that were around in the early 90s, we don't have 'Golden Bonds' (5 places every year - some charities have lots and lots of these bonds!)

Anyway, this isn't a complaint about London Marathon (honest!). It's a magical event. I was watching on TV last month and, in usual fashion, I was in tears, moved by the personal stories of the fundraisers. I watched the event down in London a few years ago and I was an emotional WRECK!!

But the other thing you can't escape when watching is just how many charities there are in the UK - according to the Charity Commission, over 185,000! That's A LOT of good causes all needing support from those who use their services - website, resources, information, support groups, online groups etc.

And that's the seed I want to plant within the alopecia community. Nobody is going to see an advertising campaign from us on a billboard. You won't see Alopecia UK on TV adverts. We don’t have a budget for such things. Alopecia UK is not picked as 'Charity of the Year' by large corporations. Even if we did have the funds for big marketing appeals, we recognise that we are not a popular cause that has broader appeal with the general public (it's hard to accept that truth because we are all so blummin' fabulous!). Unless someone is affected by alopecia, Alopecia UK is unlikely to be a cause that people support.

The people that are going to keep this charity around for as long as we're needed are the wonderful alopecia community - those either directly affected or with a loved one who is affected.

So if Alopecia UK means something to you, if this is a charity that you value and whose work you think is important, I ask you to consider supporting the charity with a monthly donation. We can only continue the work we do with your support. We have been blown away by recent efforts of fundraisers, including September's Charity Champions as well as a couple of London Marathon runners (one using their own ballot place) and some Virtual London Marathon runners too. Thank you to al our fundraisers!

However, we know publicly fundraising for Alopecia UK is not something everyone will be happy to do. But a regular donation is something that can be done more privately and can make a HUGE difference. Could you afford to give a £5 or £10 a month? Or perhaps £3 a month, the cost of a takeaway coffee?

To put it in perspective, if a quarter of the members of our Facebook group gave a £3 a month donation for a year, this would equal our fundraising income to date. If just 10% of the people on our mailing list signed up to give £3 a month, we would DOUBLE our current income from gifts from regular donors.

If we can build our regular monthly income, it would really boost our sustainability and leave us less vulnerable to external influences, such as a global pandemic!

So, you don't need to run a marathon to make a difference (but hats off to those who do - you're heroes!). But our regular donors are heroes too. Each and every one of them. If you already donate to us monthly, thank you. We appreciate every one of you.

Start your monthly donation to Alopecia UK today