As we reach the end of another year at Alopecia UK, we reflect back on what we have been up to this year and are pleased to provide this 'round-up' of some highlights of our year...

We kick-started the year with the launch of our Podcast, ‘Talk Hair Loss’, in January. Our podcast provides the opportunity to hear first-hand from the alopecia community about the ups and downs of hair loss. Find episodes here (or listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify).

Alopecia UK joined the Connect Immune Research Initiative, a first-of-its-kind research charity partnership which aims to confront the UK’s high prevalence of autoimmune conditions. Read more about it here.

In February, a fantastic team of mini-Alopecia UK representatives did an amazing job for us when they interviewed the one and only, Matt Lucas. They asked him a range of questions, quizzing him on everything from his own experience with alopecia, to his favourite jokes, to presenting Great British Bake Off. If you haven’t watched it, we thoroughly recommend it – it’s a great watch! Find it here.

We welcomed Julie Clayton to our staff team as our ‘Research & Liaison Manager’. You can find out all about Julie and her role within the charity here. Julie got off to a flying start by opening the 2021 research funding pots call. More on the projects that were funded later…

We were extremely proud to launch our Schools Pack in the Spring. Designed to tackle some of the struggles that young people face in schools, the pack includes PowerPoint presentations, teaching resources, staff training and uniform guidance. To date, we have sent out 128 School Packs. Request your copy here.

In June, we said farewell to Karen Green who stepped down from the Trustee Board. Karen was instrumental in Alopecia UK’s merger with Autoimmune Alopecia Research UK in 2017 and went on to become a founding member of Alopecia UK’s Research Committee. Read more here.

This year our Youth Voice Board was formed, bringing the voices and views of young people into the charity and helping us to plan and develop services for young people with alopecia. Read more here.

Also in 2021, we were pleased to begin our important work to develop an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy. Thank you to everyone who participated in the focus groups. A new EDI Advisory group will be coming in 2022 to help the charity meet the needs of our community moving forward. Read more here

We had some great news in the Summer when, thanks to the nominations made by our wonderful community, we won a £1,000 ‘Movement for Good’ award. Awards like this make all the difference to small charities like Alopecia UK and the money was put toward the running of our online support groups this year. A huge thank you to everyone who nominated us. More here

This year we were proud to launch two new resources; our ‘A Little Bit of Everything About Alopecia’ booklet and our Blue Pages directory.

We were extremely excited to host our first ever Kingswood activity camp in 2021. We welcomed more than 30 families to a residential weekend full of confidence-building fun and it was such a success that we’re doing it all again in 2022. Find our ‘Save the Date’ and photos from last year’s event here.

At the end of the Summer, our Research Committee and Lay Research Panel helped to decide which research projects would be funded. This year we invested £18,500 into a research project with the Charles Institute for Dermatology at University College Dublin. Find out more here 

September is always a big month on the AUK calendar as it’s Alopecia Awareness Month. We kicked off the month by awarding our second ‘Hannah Dennis Alopecia Awareness Award’ to eight-year-old Jessica Mearkle. Our judges were blown away by Jessica’s efforts which you can read about here.

We always try to get as many of our community involved as possible to help us raise awareness of alopecia and much-needed funds for Alopecia UK. This September was a wonderful success thanks to the amazing support of our Charity Champions, raising more than £43,000 for Alopecia UK. This is a PHENOMENAL amount to our small charity. A huge thank you to all our Charity Champions and everyone who donated across the month. You can read a round up of September 2021 here.

One of our Charity Champions, Emma Siedle-Collins, published an alopecia book called ‘People Like Us’ in late September. To date, she has raised £2,000 with the awareness book. Copies are still available. More details here.

In the Autumn, we were SUPER-EXCITED to put tickets on sale for our Alton Towers event in April 2022. The event has not been able to take place for 2 years due to COVID restrictions and we cannot wait to bring the popular event back. We have sold over 100 tickets already and hope to sell many more in the New Year. Get yours here.

Last month, we were delighted to share news of another alopecia book. This time the author was six-year-old Deléna Thompson. Her book ‘I Am Not My Hair’ is a lovely read and we were pleased to highlight Deléna’s awareness efforts to our community. Find out about the book here.

Throughout the year we have been working hard on the development of a Charter for Best Practice for Wig Provision, culminating in some focus groups with clinicians and people with alopecia in November and December. We hope to be able to launch the charter in Spring 2022. Find out more about the work here

Towards the end of this year, we had a couple of changes at Team AUK. Harry Brunt stepped down from the Trustee Board and we welcomed Sue Schilling to the Staff Team.

And finally, we finish the year with our ‘Deck the Halls’ Christmas Appeal. This year we are asking if you value the work of Alopecia UK, and you can afford to do so, to please set up a monthly gift to Alopecia UK.

We only receive a small fraction of our annual income from regular gifts. Monthly donations can provide a sustainable source of income and ease some of the pressure we experience as a small charity when it comes to fundraising and achieving the income we need to operate. Sadly, we have seen other charities close this year and others issue emergency appeals. We want Alopecia UK to be here for as long as we are needed, and we don’t want to be in the position of doing an emergency appeal. Your monthly donation, however big or small, can help Alopecia UK continue its work in 2022 and beyond.

Set up your monthly donation here.

A big thank you to everyone who has helped Alopecia UK this year. We could not do what we do without the support of the alopecia community. In whatever capacity you have got involved this year, thank you!

We look forward to lots more of you getting involved in our work and activities in 2022.