It was incredibly difficult for the Judging Panel – including Alopecia UK founder Vicky Rees, Alopecia UK Ambassador Joanna Rowsell, Hannah’s parents Steve and Elaine Dennis and Alopecia UK Operations Manager Amy Johnson – to pick our first ever winner. We received nominations about some fabulous young people who have done some amazing things to raise awareness of alopecia. We would like to congratulate all the young people who were nominated and introduce the first winner of The Hannah Dennis Alopecia Awareness Award, eight year old Bonnie Pullan.

Congratulations Bonnie on being named the first ever winner of our annual alopecia awareness award. How did you feel when you were told you had won?

I felt really really excited! I didn’t know what the award was at first. My mum didn’t tell me she had nominated me. I can’t believe I’ve won. I am very happy!

Tell us about the things you have done to raise awareness of alopecia…

I gave a powerpoint presentation in an assembly at my school to let the other children in my school know about alopecia so that they would understand why I have no hair. I also took part in the 2.6 Challenge for Alopecia UK and raised lots of awareness and funds with my 26 Olympic-style challenge event. I made a video for Alopecia UK which they used to get other people involved in the campaign too. I managed to raise over £1,200 which is more than I thought I would raise!

Following your success with the 2.6 Challenge in April, we now understand you are one of our AUK Birthday Champions for September. What are you going to do for that?

I’m going to do 15 different challenges. The things I have thought of so far include washing 15 cars, a bake sale, walking 1.5 miles and wearing my blue T-shirt at school. I’m hoping to get my whole class (or maybe even school) to wear blue to raise awareness too. I’m looking forward to my challenges!

What’s the best thing about having alopecia and what’s the most annoying thing?

Not having to wash my hair is the best thing! It’s good when it’s a hot day, I feel cooler than everyone else. I don’t think there is an annoying thing!

If you could tell everyone in the world just one thing about what it’s like to have alopecia, what would that one thing be?

It doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside, it only matters who you are on the inside. Be brave and kind.  

Over to Bonnie’s Mum, Wendy… 

Why do you think it’s so important to raise awareness of alopecia?

I think it’s incredibly important that people understand what alopecia is. The greater the awareness, the greater the understanding and empathy from others.  I think getting involved with alopecia awareness has helped us as a family to accept alopecia by doing something positive.

How has being involved with awareness activities impacted on Bonnie?

It’s helped her to accept alopecia by being more involved and to realise she’s not alone. She has accepted her alopecia now and so raising awareness, getting involved with Alopecia UK and helping others has definitely made Bonnie stronger. 

How did you feel when you were told Bonnie had been awarded the Hannah Dennis Alopecia Awareness Award?

As parents we were beyond proud and it’s nice to Bonnie’s efforts recognised. She really put herself out there by raising awareness in school as she did and she put a lot of effort into raising awareness and funds as part of the 2.6 Challenge. She’s only 8 but takes everything in her stride. She has blown us away with how well she has been coping with alopecia, particularly given her young age. Seeing her helping others is inspiring.  

Congratulations Bonnie on becoming the first recipient of the Hannah Dennis Alopecia Awareness Award and well done to everyone who was nominated. It is great to know there are lots of brilliant young people with alopecia doing great things to raise awareness.

If you would like to support Bonnie's latest awareness and fundraising efforts, you can leave a donation on her fundraising page here