Saturday 28th September 2019

Timetable Overview:

Subject to change.


Workshops & Focus Groups

9:00 – 10:15

All attendees

Arrival, Registration, Refreshments & access to Exhibition Hall

9:15 – 9:45

Focus Group 1

1st timers and solo attendees (booking required*)

Meet & Greet

9:00 – 10:00

Focus Group 2

AUK Support Group Leads Team Meeting

9:15 – 10:00

Focus Group 3

Men with Alopecia

Meet & Greet

10:15 - 11:15

Session 1

Introductory Session

11:15 - 11:45

Break, Refreshments & Exhibition Hall


10:45 - 11:40

Focus Group 4

Partners of those with alopecia

Drop In Session


11:45 - 1:00

Session 2

Alopecia Areata: Overview & Q&A

11:45 - 1:00

Session 3

Other types of hair loss incl. Androgenetic & Scarring Alopecias: Overview & Q&A

11:45 - 12:45

Workshop 1 (booking required*)

Moving towards what you want from life and away from appearance concerns

11:45 - 12:45

Workshop 2 (booking required*)

Informing another of your (in)visible difference

1:00 - 2:00

Lunch & Exhibition Hall

1:00 - 2:00

Workshop 3 (booking required*)

Wonderful Me Doodle Workshop

1:30 - 2:00

Sponsor Symposium 1

Freedom Hair

2:00 - 3:15

Session 4

Alopecia & Me

2:00 - 3:15

Session 5

Products & Services Session

2:15 - 3:15

Workshop 1 repeated (booking required*)

Moving towards what you want from life and away from appearance concerns

3:15 - 3:45

Break, Refreshments & Exhibition Hall

3:45 - 4:45

Session 6

Alopecia Areata: Research Overview

3:45 - 4:45

Session 7

Support Options

3:45 - 4:45

Workshop 1 repeated (booking required*)

Moving towards what you want from life and away from appearance concerns

3:45 - 4:45

Workshop 2 (booking required*)

Informing another of your (in)visible difference

5 - 5:30

Session 8

Closing Talk & Raffle

*Workshop booking link will be sent out on the 23rd August to all registered attendees and be run on a first come, first served basis.

Further details about Sessions and Workshops:

Introductory Session (10.15-11.15)
  • Welcome & Event Introduction
  • About Alopecia UK
  • Guest Speakers 
Session Speakers:  Simon Ray (Alopecia UK Chair of Trustees), Jen Chambers (Alopecia UK Charity Development Manager), Amy Johnson (Alopecia UK Communications Manager), Serica Hunter, Amy Harmsworth

Alopecia Areata - Overview & Q&A (11.45-1.00)
  • What is Alopecia Areata (Totalis/Universalis)?  Causes, Triggers, Mechanism of the Disease.
  • Current Treatment Options Overview
  • Q&A
Session Speakers: Teontor Simakou & Dr Matthew Harries

Other types of hair loss including Androgenetic & Scarring Alopecias - Overview & Q&A (11.45-1.00)
  • Explaining differences in Dermatological practices
  • What is Trichology and what can it treat? 
  • What other types of hair loss are there? 
  • Q&A (session will be determined by those at the event and the types of hair loss they have)
Session Speakers:  Dr Anita Takwale & Dr John Gray

Alopecia & Me (2.00-3.15)
  • The Psychological Impact of Alopecia
  • Facilitated discussion with four people who have alopecia (Harry Brunt, Naomi Hall, Jo Tucker AKA @BaldMotherTucker & Nikky Odutayo AKA @_nikkyo) exploring their experiences and the ways that alopecia has impacted on their lives.
Session Speaker:  Nick Sharratt  Discussion Facilitator:  Kerry Montgomery

Products & Services Session (2.00-3.15)
  • Wigs, Toppers & Hair Systems - an overview
    • What is a wig, topper, hair system and what types of hair loss are they suitable for?
    • Pros and cons - synthetic wigs v human hair wigs
    • What are the different types of synthetic hair and what difference does this make to the hair/wig?
    • What are the different types of human hair and what difference does this make to the hair/wig?
    • What are the different cap types on wigs?
  • Wigs & NHS Provision
    • A brief update on Alopecia UK's advocacy work to challenge the NHS on wig provision
  • Permanent Make Up (PMU) & Scalp Micropigmentation 
    • What is permanent make up?
    • Types of permanent make up eyebrows and eyeliner
    • What is scalp micropigmentation?
    • What to look out for in a PMU and scalp micropigmentation practitioner to ensure good practice
  • Scalp Concealer Products
    • What are scalp concealer products?
    • What types of hair loss are they suitable for?
    • How they are used
Session Speakers:  Michelle Moffatt, Amy Johnson, Dawn Forshaw & Janan Farjo

Alopecia Areata: Research Overview (3.45-4.45)

This session will discuss the Alopecia Biobank and Glasgow University project, 'The Immunology of Alopecia'.  It will also give an overview of various research projects taking place in the UK followed by time for a Q&A. 

Session Speakers:  Dr Matthew Harries & Professor Simon Milling.

Support Options (3.45-4.45)

Types of support available

  • What is counselling and how can it be helpful to you?
  • What is art therapy and how can it be helpful to you?
  • Finding Support - Where to look
  • Q&A to panel
Session Speakers:  Dr Kerry Montgomery, Viv Allen & Jen Chambers

Closing Talk & Raffle (5.00-5.30)
  • Closing Talk
  • Raffle 

Freedom Hair - "Have you ever wondered if you would ever do ??? again?" (1.30-2.00)
One of our Gold Event Sponsors, Freedom Hair, will present on how to live your life in a Freedom Wig based on the features and benefits a Freedom Wig provides for the wearer.  A Freedom Wig wearer will walk people through the question 'Have you ever wondered if you would ever do ??? again?' and discover how many ??? are possible again.  This will be followed by a Q&A from the floor.


Moving towards what you want from life and away from appearance concerns (11.45-12.45) (2.15-3.15) (3.45-4.45)

This workshop will provide hands-on exercises covering core features of Acceptance and Commitment Training which develops psychological flexibility.  It will include Mindfulness practices and reflections, clarifying what's important to you in life and setting simple goals based on your values.

Workshop Facilitator:  Fabio Zucchelli

Informing another of your (in)visible difference (11.45-12.25) (3.45-4.45)

The workshop facilitator will introduce the area of 'visible difference' and its psychological impact, highlighting some of the main experiences, challenges, and benefits to romantic relationships that have been communicated to them.  The workshop will discuss the 'Disclosure Dilemma' (concerns about when and how to tell someone about an (in)visible difference) and discuss what the key messages and most important issues might be when contemplating encountering this scenario in the future.

Workshop Facilitator:  Nick Sharratt

Wonderful Me Doodle Workshop (1.00-2.00)

A fun, empowering and positive art workshop (brought in for the kids but we thought the adults might enjoy it as well!).  Doodle workshops provide a happy and positive space to be creative in a fun and relaxed way.  Being over-critical of ourselves, focussing on our flaws instead of qualities is all too common...BUT it's time to stop with the negative self-talk and celebrate your wonderful-ness in all your doodle glory!  This workshop will remind you to celebrate the strengths, talents and quirks that make you so very wonderful and unique!

Workshop Facilitator:  Toria


1st Timers and solo attendees (9.15-9.45)

We know how daunting it can be to attend an event such as this, especially if it is your first time or you are on your own.  You see other people chatting and it’s easy to assume everyone already knows each other!  While there are a lot of people who love our Big Weekend event so much that they come every year, there are also lots who attend for the first time or come along on their own.  As friendly as everyone is at Big Weekend, it’s nice to meet some others in the same situation as yourself.  Attending this Meet & Greet session enables you to do just that while you calm your nerves a bit!

Facilitator:  Amy Johnson

AUK Support Group Leads Team Meeting (9.00-10.00)

This session is for those who run an Alopecia UK Support Group only.  If you are interested in running a new support group then please express your interest via our website and when at the event try and have a chat with either Naomi Hall or Kerry Montgomery and they can explain what is involved.

Facilitator:  Kerry Montgomery

Men with Alopecia (9.15-10.00)

We know that men can arrive at our events and when it’s really busy take a look around and think ‘this is all women’!  This is not actually the case and as such we’d like you to be able to easily meet some other men at the event so you know you are not the only one!  Additionally, we will also have a couple of researchers from Centre of Appearance Research (Nick and Fabio) who are keen to have some informal chats with you all as you arrive.  In the future we are keen to explore impact for men as well as what support needs to be in place for men with alopecia.  Ultimately however, this session is just to be able to say hi to each other.

Facilitators (who also have alopecia):  Michael & Matthew (AUK Volunteers) & Harry (Alopecia UK Trustee) 
Researchers:  Nick Sharratt & Fabio Zucchelli

Partners of those with alopecia (10.45-11.40)

Alopecia doesn’t just impact on the person with alopecia, it can impact on partners too.  Researchers from the Centre of Appearance Research at the University of West England, Fabio and Nick, are keen to chat to the partners of people with alopecia about their experiences.  As such we encourage partners to drop in to see them at this session.  It will be an informal session where you can not only chat with the researchers but also with other partners and share experiences.  This sessions overlaps with our introductory session, if you wish to stay in that you can and then just grab yourself a coffee and go along to this on the break.  Alternatively, you may wish to skip part or all of the introductory session and go to this instead.  It is up to you.  Perhaps just sit near the back of the room at the introductory talk so that you can sneak out!

Researchers:  Nick Sharratt & Fabio Zucchelli