A New Year's Message from Alopecia UK CEO, Sue Schilling Happy New Year! 2023 was another busy year for Alopecia UK and I am very proud and grateful for all we achieved in the last twelve months. The highlights for me were: Welcoming comedian Zoe Lyons to our Ambassador team in February, and getting along to one of her tour dates and having some proper belly laughs! Bringing together more than 260 people for our Big Weekend event in Birmingham in March, for a weekend that was not only incredibly informative (thanks to some incredible speakers and exhibitors) but also empowering and inspiring. I left the event with a spring in my step. Gathering more than 300 attendees together for our Alton Towers event in April for what remains one of the most fun days on the AUK calendar! (Tickets on sale for Alton Towers 2024 now – join us!). Seeing my face pop up briefly on BBC’s The One Show as I said a huge thank you to Jesse, one of the incredible young people who raised funds for Alopecia UK last year. It was amazing to see his efforts acknowledged on such a public stage. Representing Alopecia UK, and the alopecia community, at the European Hair Research Meeting in Sheffield in June. I was very excited to meet so many researchers from across the world who are dedicated to finding the answers that we need, and I was honoured to be invited to speak in the opening talks. Attending my 2nd Kingswood Family Residential Weekend event in August and getting to spend time with 25 wonderful families. It’s hard to pick out favourite moments when so much of what Alopecia UK has done last year fills me with pride. These are just a small number of my personal highlights in a year full of activity around our aims of Support, Awareness and Research. For a more detailed summary of 2023, please read our round-up here. It’s a great recap of the year and shows the huge breadth of work that we have managed to complete, with the equivalent of just a handful of staff members, a dedicated team of amazing volunteers, and, of course, the generous donors and fundraisers who help to fund our work. 2023 was also the year in which we found ourselves in new territory, representing the patient voice in appraisal meetings with NICE regarding new treatments for alopecia areata. A huge amount of work went into the preparation for these meetings, and subsequent appeal. Although we did not achieve the outcomes we hoped for this year, we remain hopeful for new licensed treatments being made available via the NHS in the future. We will certainly continue to advocate for fair treatment pathways, as well as living well with alopecia, in the months and years to come. I want to take this opportunity to extend a personal thank you to everyone who has volunteered, raised funds, and/or made donations in 2023. Small charities like Alopecia UK rely on the generosity of the communities they support. We are lucky to have such an incredible community that keeps us going. I am confident that 2024 will be another busy year for us. With dates already set for upcoming support groups, events for children, Alton Towers and social events for adults in London and Edinburgh, we hope to welcome you along to an event soon. We will also continue to raise awareness at medical conferences in 2024, and hope to introduce new content onto our website this year, ensuring the most up to date information is shared with our community. I am sure that our voice will continue to develop in the world of research and look forward to seeing Alopecia UK continue to play a meaningful role in the funding of research projects which may otherwise not happen without us. It brings me to an ask as I look ahead to another year of Alopecia UK working to improve the lives of those affected by alopecia. Are you able to give a monthly gift to Alopecia UK, perhaps the cost of a takeaway coffee, or a magazine subscription? Monthly gifts can help to provide Alopecia UK with a regular income that can allow us to do as much as we can to make a real difference in the lives of those with alopecia. Whether you can afford to give £2 a month, £20 a month, or anywhere in-between, we would appreciate your support to help us to continue to be there for those who are struggling. To enable us to make the public, and medical professionals, understand the psychological impact of hair loss. To allow us to invest in further research projects which will hopefully lead to improved treatment options. Please start your regular gift today Thank you for your support. Wishing you a happy and healthy 2024!