After nearly four and a half years, Alopecia UK says goodbye to our Psychological Wellbeing Lead, Dr Kerry Montgomery.

It was back in 2014 that Jen Chambers and Amy Johnson met Kerry at a conference. Lots of exciting discussions followed about how Kerry could support the work of Alopecia UK. At the time Kerry was doing her PhD which looked at psychological support for people with skin conditions but, with dermatologist/alopecia specialist Professor Andrew Messenger as one of her supervisors, Kerry developed a keen interest in hair.

Over the next few years Kerry worked with Alopecia UK on different projects, including a research study which looked at the psychological impact of alopecia and wig use. Kerry also took part in the Priority Setting Partnership for Hair Loss, and was one of the first people supporting Amy in the early days of the work which would eventually become the Charter for Best Practice for NHS Wig Provision.

In 2019, Kerry joined Alopecia UK as a member of staff. During her time at Alopecia UK, Kerry set up and facilitated our online support groups for adults and parents, created various resources for the Alopecia UK website including the Schools Pack, parents’ guides, children’s animation and our Men’s Resources.

Kerry has helped raise awareness of the psychological impact of alopecia by speaking at events and writing a CPD accredited training course for professionals. During her time with the charity, Kerry has brought in grants totalling nearly £100,000 to help the charity develop resources and contribute to alopecia research.

Kerry is leaving us to join our friends at the Centre for Appearance Research as a Research Fellow on a Career Development Award from the Vocational Training and Charitable Trust Foundation (VTCTF).

Kerry said,

“I have loved my time working at Alopecia UK, and this is not goodbye. I will continue to support the charity and alopecia research. I am very proud to have contributed to the work of Alopecia UK, I really enjoyed making the Schools Pack, working alongside so many amazing young people. The men’s video and the children’s animation were also highlights for me.

I am excited about my new role at the Centre for Appearance Research but I will miss the team and everyone in the alopecia community who I have worked with during my time at Alopecia UK. I will be keeping in touch and continuing to champion for more alopecia research.”

Alopecia UK’s CEO Sue Schilling said,

“Kerry is a highly accomplished PhD researcher and expert; her work has not only deepened our knowledge of the psychological and emotional aspects of alopecia but has made a significant difference in the lives of individuals dealing with alopecia. Her expertise and insights have played a pivotal role in developing the support services and resources offered by Alopecia UK. Kerry is a whirlwind of energy and fun, she is constantly seeking new opportunities, and this is the not-so-secret reason for her success. 

We are sending her to our friends at CAR to follow a new path with love. I know that we will, for sure, maintain a close connection with Kerry for years to come. And I am sure she will also achieve great things in her next adventure.”

Kerry’s last working day with Alopecia UK is Wednesday 18th October. We will miss Kerry, and are so grateful for her contributions during her time with the charity.