Support & Advice Support Groups London Welcome to the London group! "It is most important for me to say that EVERYONE is welcome to join this group - all types of alopecia, different stages and types of hair loss, men, women, and partners/parents of people with alopecia. In addition, how you use the group is also entirely up to you - no-one is forced to speak if you would rather listen. Some people attend every session, others I might see once a year, and others only attend once to get what they need. All versions of support is absolutely fine, make this group what you want it to be for you! Amy H What happens at the group? Support groups are held in the Lucas Arms - a pub about a 5 mins walk from Kings Cross St. Pancreas which serves a number of train lines, as well as the Victoria, Circle, Hammersmith and Fulham, Metropolitan, Northern and Piccadilly Tube Lines. A number of bus routes also serve this area. We are very fortunate that we are offered the private back room for a discounted price (which in Central London is an absolute win) so anything we can offer back in terms of food and drinks ordered is always appreciated. I try and offer a variety of events for the support group from support meetings to fun activities such as yoga, walks and pub quiz nights. I welcome any suggestions for feedback to make this group as great as it can be. You can find more information about the plans for 2020 below. Group dates: Date Time Location Extra Meeting Info Sunday 26th January 2020 From 1pm Lucas Arms, 245A Gray's Inn Road, London, WC1X 8QY Bring and Share Sunday 1st March 2020 From 2pm Lucas Arms, 245A Gray's Inn Road, London, WC1X 8QY Resilience Workshop Saturday 2nd May 2020 From 12pm Kew Gardens, Richmond, TW9 3AB Visit to the Kew Gardens Saturday 13th June 2020 TBC TBC London Regional Roadshow Saturday 22nd August 2020 From 12pm Hampstead Heath Summer Picnic Saturday 19th September 2020 Tough Mudder! Saturday 10th October 2020 From 6.30pm 58 Millbank, Morpeth Arms, Westminster, London, SW1P 4RW Annual Pub Quiz Sunday 22nd November 2020 From 1pm Lucas Arms, 245A Gray's Inn Road, London, WC1X 8QY Support Session Saturday 12th December 2020 From 1pm Lucas Arms, 245A Gray's Inn Road, London, WC1X 8QY Christmas Party! Please contact the group lead prior to attending a meeting so they can plan accordingly. Extra meeting information: The regular meetings are now held in the Lucas Arms (previously held at the Malborough arms) where we have a private space within the pub. Refreshments are available to buy. London support group meetings are typically informal gatherings - a chance to mix and talk to others about your experiences. Below you can find some extra information from Amy about individual meetings: Sun 26th Jan - Bring and Share:We're doing this again, as it went so well last year. In this meeting, we are asking everyone to bring along anything they have found useful/helpful/supportive in managing their alopecia and sharing this with the group. For me, losing my eyebrows and eyelashes was the most challenging part of my alopecia, so last time I bought along some false eyelashes! Other ideas of things that can be bought along include a particular wig, headscarf, a book or even an action you do every day to help you (such as practicing mindfulness) Sun 1st March - Resilience Workshop:I will be delivering a workshop on resilience which I hope will help support group members to explore ways in which they can manage and cope with their alopecia. Due to the nature of this group, there will be a maximum number of attendees (12). For more information, and to register for tickets, please see here. Sat 2nd May - Visit to Kew Gardens:As a group, we will visit the Royal Botanical Gardens of Kew. Its absolutely beautiful here and great to wonder around with friends. We will start the day here, and maybe head to Richmond after for food and drink if people are up for it. Sat 13th June - London Regional Roadshow:Its back, and its going to be better than ever! Almost 2 years ago, I organised a London Roadshow in Borough which hosted approx. 15 exhibitors for wigs, eyebrows, headscarves, jewellery....! We had talks and demonstrations, people could try on and buy lots of awesome things, and with the help of friends and family we had all the cake you could ever need!! Now, with the amazing help of the new AUK Regional Events and Support Coordinator - Kelly! - Alopecia UK are working hard to host a similar event again. More details to come, but save the date in your diary for now!! Sat 22nd Aug - Summer Picnic and Swim: Our annual summer picnic will be at Hampstead Heath this year, near the Public Swimming Ponds for those of us who fancy it! Fingers cross for better weather this year please!! Sat 19th Sep - Tough Mudder:The 'Apatchy Warriors' are back again to take on the Tough Mudder Challenge! We've done 2 Total Warriors, and 1 Rough Runner, and now there is only one challenge left!! This time its in Croydon which is not too far for us Londoners! Who will join me and take on this 12k Obstacle Course?! It falls during Alopecia Awareness Month and so AUK thought it was the perfect way to mark the occasion and use the opportunity to raise some awareness! For more information on how to join the team, and raising money for AUK in this event, please see here. Sat 10th Oct - Annual Pub Quiz:This will be a ticketed event, with further details to follow. The room that has been booked is called the Spying Room. Sat 12th Dec - Christmas Party! This will be a ticketed event in order to pay deposits and pre-ordering of food. Ticket link to be organised closer to the time. Who can attend: This group is designed for any adult living with or affected by alopecia from the ages of 18 and above. For those under the age of 18 please see our London Children Support Group.(Also ran by Amy!) Contact details: Amy HarmsworthEmail: [email protected]Instagram - alopecia_amyAmy is happy to answer any questions about the group and provide a listening ear at a time arranged by email. Please be aware that any questions Amy is unable to answer will be sent on to staff at Alopecia UK.Support Group Leads are not professional counsellors but people who have personal experiences with alopecia and, along with member of the support group can help to give insight and advice on living and dealing with alopecia on a day to day basis. Please note that our Support Group Leads are volunteers and do this in their spare time, as such please allow up to a week for replies to emails Amy's link with alopecia: Amy was first diagnosed with Alopecia Areata when she was 10 years old. Amy found growing up with Alopecia challenging at times but learnt very quickly that it was not going to stop her from doing any of the things she wanted to do (which was good since she just wanted to surf and horseride!). Growing up she learnt a lot about personal strength and always thinking about others, which she now appreciates and thanks her alopecia journey for. She has had some experiences of re-growth but right now has Alopecia Universalis, losing all hair, including eyebrows and eyelashes. She attended the support group for the first time two years ago and was amazed by the strength and support she drew, and also offered, within the meetings. Her confidence with alopecia has never been so high, and she thanks all the people she has met since she started attending. She was both proud and honoured when she was asked to lead the group. If you have any feedback on this support group please consider leaving it here.Alternatively if you have any Suggestions, Comments, Compliments or Complaints for the charity please do so here.