Following the phenomenal success of last year's 'Birthday Bonanza' combined with another year of the world being a bit topsy-turvy because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we did not know how much enthusiasm there would be for people to get involved in Alopecia Awareness Month 2021. But our alopecia community once again approached the month of September with lots of energy and enthusiasm! 

Themed Weeks

This year's campaign had four differently-themed weeks; Get Talking Week, Wellbeing Week, Research Week and This Is Me Week. 

Our newly formed Youth Voice Board helped us to get the month started with our 'Get Talking Week'. They came up with an informative blog post '7 Things the Alopecia UK Youth Voice Board Want You to Know About Alopecia' as well as the following insightful video in which they interviewed each other: 

Thank you to our Youth Voice Board for getting the conversation started this September. 

In our 'Wellbeing Week' we shared our 'Top Six Wellbeing Tips for Those With Alopecia' blog post, along with content on our social media. 

Research Week included not one, not two but three new research blog posts! 'Research for the Hero Inside Yourself' reflects back on how far Alopecia UK has come with its Research aim. 'Epic Epidemiology Study for Alopecia Areata' details the biggest epidemiology study ever undertaken for alopecia areata, which has happened right here in the UK and includes over 4 million GP records. And 'Getting to Grips with JAK Inhibitors; a New Treatment on the Horizon?' looks at the hot-topic of JAK inhibitor drugs. 

Finally, we rounded up Alopecia Awareness Month with 'This Is Me Week', where we flooded our social media pages with pictures and positivity from fabulous folks within the alopecia community, many of them Charity Champions! Volunteer Danielle created a lovely music video to round off September which you can view here - thank you to Danielle and everyone who took part!

Charity Champions

Where to begin?! We have been absolutely blown away by the efforts of our Charity Champions this year. We set out with the target of recruiting 80 Charity Champions, asking each to try and raise a minimum fundraising target of £125 to give us an initial fundraising target of £10,000. Well, they raised that by the end of the first week! Thanks to the sponsored runs, the cake sales, the awareness talks, book sales, toy sales, 'Wear Blue for Alopecia Days', sponsored cycles, sponsored push-ups, fashion shows, awareness walks and much much more, our Charity Champions have raised over £40,000 for Alopecia UK. 

Live Webinars

For the first time, Alopecia UK hosted a series of live webinars during September. We engaged with alopecia experts, including dermatologists, trichologists, psychologists and researchers, as well as bringing in the lived experience of members of the alopecia community. The webinar topics were varied covering personal experiences, wellbeing, research and treatments. Initial feedback has been very positive and we look forward to seeing if we can develop what we offer in webinar format in the future. Thank you to everyone who attended a webinar or participated as a guest speaker. 

Why do we have Alopecia Awareness Month?

Awareness is one of Alopecia UK's aims because we recognise that increasing awareness of alopecia within the general public and healthcare professionals increases understanding of both the psychological impact and the physical challenges of losing hair. This increased awareness contributes to a more positive experience for those with alopecia. This is why we're passionate about raising awareness and why it continues to be one of Alopecia UK's charity aims. It is brilliant for us to have a dedicated month to get as many people involved in raising awareness and funds. But, for us, alopecia awareness is not just a September/Alopecia Awareness Month thing. We are committed to awareness all year long!

This September, we created hundreds of social media posts reaching thousands of people. As a result, some people who previously were unaware of alopecia will have been educated and hopefully some new people with alopecia will have found us for the first time. 

Thank you to everyone who liked, shared or commented on any of our social media post - it really does make all the difference! 

What the fundraising means to Alopecia UK

It is hard to put into words what that means for Alopecia UK. We are a small charity that does not receive any statutory funding. We rely on donations and fundraising to continue the work we do. It has been another tough year for fundraising. The money raised from September's appeal will make a HUGE difference to Alopecia UK and help us to continue the work we do to improve the lives of those affected by alopecia. Put more simply, this fundraising has been absolutely vital to our small charity.

To all our Charity Champions and each and every one of you who left a donation on their fundraising pages, THANK YOU! 

A word from Alopecia UK's Operations Manager, Amy Johnson

'I could not be more impressed by the efforts of the Charity Champions who have got involved in raising awareness and funds this September. Whilst we have run awareness campaigns in September for a number of years, last year was the first time we had a campaign that combined awareness and fundraising. Our 2020 'Birthday Bonanza' campaign was such a phenomenal success that I wasn't sure if we could be repeat it 12 months later. But I should never have doubted the enthusiasm and skills of the wonderful alopecia community! Our Charity Champions have raised over £40,000 this September, quadrupling the original modest target of £10,000. I have been delighted by the energy of our Champions and moved by the generosity of donors. Thank you everyone!' 

If you did not get involved this Alopecia Awareness Month but would like to make a donation, we will be leaving our September appeal open a bit longer. All donation, however big or small, would be very gratefully received. 

Donate to our Alopecia Awareness Month appeal here