Last month was Alopecia Awareness Month and it was a particularly special one for Alopecia UK as the charity also celebrated its 15th birthday; quite the milestone for our small charity! 

AUK Birthday Bonanza

We introduced our 'AUK Birthday Bonanza' to mark the occasion! We aimed to create 15 videos as part of an 'All About Alopecia' series and hoped to recruit 100 'Birthday Champions' to help us raise lots of awareness throughout the month and, if possible, raise £15,000 for our 15 years - #AUK15for15. To top it all off, we decided to host a 150 minute Livestream 'Birthday Bash' to end the month!

All About Alopecia Video Series

Our 15 videos were put out across our social media throughout September, reaching thousands of viewers. The video series covered a variety of topics and themes. Our most popular video was our 'Experiences of Men' video. Other popular videos in the series included our 'Make-up tips for eyebrow and eyelash loss' and 'Experiences of Young People'. You can view the full video series here. Our final video in the series was our shortest; a poem written by our Operations Manager Amy, and you can watch it below. 

AUK Birthday Champions!

We aimed to recruit 100 Birthday Champions to help us raise awareness and funds, and we actually had 110 Champions sign up! Our Champs did an incredible job with both awareness and fundraising. On the awareness side of things, millions of people were reached with a combination of social media posts and national press articles. Many of our Champions used the infographics that we provided as part of their digital packs. The fundraising efforts were amazing too with our original £15,000 fundraising target being absolutely SMASHED! Thanks to our Champions undertaking various fundraising challenges, at the time of writing, we have raised £44,515! 

Birthday Bash!

On Thursday 24th September, we hosted a LIVEstream Birthday Bash over on our Facebook page. Our Ambassador Tom Spencer helped to host it, along with Kelly, Naomi, Jen and Amy, and the Bash included updates from our Birthday Champions, birthday messages, celebrity pop-ups, special guest interviews, 'Face Your Food Fears' challenges (Amy NEVER wants to see a piece of blue cheese again!) and, of course, cake! It was lots of fun and a great way to end the month and celebrate 15 years of Alopecia UK. 

Birthday Messages

We received a number of fabulous birthday video messages from some of the organisations and individuals we've worked with over the years, including some alopecia celebrities too! You can view them all here. We've included our birthday message from Matt Lucas for you below:

The importance of awareness

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. For us, alopecia awareness is not just a September/Awareness Month thing. Alopecia UK is committed to awareness all year long!

What the fundraising means to Alopecia UK

Alopecia UK does not receive any statutory funding and relies on donations and fundraising to continue its work. Due to Covid-19, most fundraising events have been cancelled in 2020. This is having a devastating impact on some small charities. We were incredibly lucky to have supporters get involved in the national '2.6 campaign' earlier in the year. The money raised from that campaign helped to replace lost fundraising income. After a Summer of very minimal fundraising and with no sign of things changing over Autumn/Winter, we felt it was important to incorporate fundraising into our September campaign. We aimed to raise £15,000 for our Birthday Bonanza. We saw this as another opportunity to get supporters to rally around us. We did not expect our Champions to smash the £15,000 target to the degree they did; they have TRIPLED the target amount! 

This fundraising is so vital to our small charity. Very simply speaking, any money received by Alopecia UK is used to keep the charity going and continue our work of improving the lives of those affected by alopecia. It allows us to work to our aims of Support, Awareness and Research. 

A word from our Chair of Trustees

‘I am extremely impressed by the efforts and enthusiasm of everyone who has got involved in Alopecia UK’s Birthday Bonanza campaign. It’s wonderful to see what can happen when everyone works together. This has certainly been an Alopecia Awareness Month to remember. A big thank you to all our Birthday Champions for raising such a phenomenal amount, to everyone who has sent us 15th birthday messages and to everyone who has donated to our AUK 15 for 15 appeal.’

To ALL our Birthday Champions and EVERYONE who contributed to our 15for15 appeal, we want to thank you. We know 2020 has been a challenging year for so many people and it is really heart-warming to know that there are people willing to support the causes that are important to them. 

If you did not get involved in our Birthday Bonanza but would like to make a donation, we will be leaving our appeal open until the end of the year. All donations, however big or small, would be very gratefully received. 

Donate to our 15 for 15 Appeal here