As we reach the end of 2019, we wanted to take the opportunity to have a look back over the past 12 months...

Staff Team

It's been another big year for Alopecia UK with us continuing the expansion of our staff team! We have welcomed three new members of staff to the charity. Kerry Montgomery joined us in May as our new Support Project Manager. Kelly Young and Carolyn Johnson both joined us in October. Kelly is our Regional Events and Support Coordinator (South) and Carolyn is our Research Manager. All three members of staff have hit the ground running and will help Alopecia UK to do so much more in 2020. 


2019 was another year of successful events. Amy and Naomi kicked things off in March with a Regional Roadshow event in Leeds, attended by 130 people. It was the third Regional Roadshow event and Kelly will be hosting our fourth Regional Roadshow in Exeter on Saturday 14th March 2020 (Tickets on sale now!). April saw us host our sixth annual trip to Alton Towers theme park in Staffordshire. Over 300 people turned out for our day of support, awareness and fun! We can't wait to do it all again on Saturday 18th April 2020 and tickets are available now! At the end of September we hosted our fifth Big Weekend event in Bristol. Over 340 people came together for the conference element of the event with some also staying for a Saturday night dinner and disco and Sunday awareness walk with a photo opportunity at Clifton Suspension Bridge (below).  

Support Groups

Our national network of local support groups continues to expand, with three new adult groups introduced in 2019 - Inverness, Swansea, Anglesey & Gwynedd - and two new children's groups - South West Kids and Glasgow Kids and a new teens' group - Manchester Teens. And our private online Facebook Groups continue to grow, with our main group welcoming its 7,000th member in 2019. Our Products & Services Chat Group has continued to be a great source of information for those needing advice about wigs, headwear, permanent make up and other products and services, with this Facebook group welcoming interactions with our Service Directory businesses. We hope that our Parents Chat Group and Mens Chat Group will develop further in 2020. Kerry has been busy behind the scenes making sure that our Support Group Leads have the resources they need and we will be rolling out revised resources to them in 2020. 

External Conferences

We were delighted to attend the World Congress for Hair Research (WCHR) in Barcelona in April. It was not only great for us to meet with researchers who are trying to find the answers we all seek, we were also able to catch up with other alopecia organisations, including friends from National Alopecia Areata Foundation (USA) and A Pelo (Spain). Each year we attend the British Association of Dermatologists' annual meeting and 2019 was no different. We were pleased to attend the meeting in Liverpool and talk with many dermatologists from across the UK. We look forward to attending BAD's 100th annual meeting in 2020 in Manchester. Our Charity Development Manager Jen Chambers was invited to speak at the UK Dermatology Clinical Trials Network's (UKDCTN) meeting in May which focused on hair disorders. In her talk titled 'Working with patients for alopecia research', Jen reminded attendees about how valuable patient experience is in potentially shaping future research ideas and the importance of involving patients in the development of treatments and outcomes. Jen also attended the Global Skin 2019 conference in Milan in June which was organised by the International Alliance of Dermatology Patient Organisations. The conference was specifically designed for dermatology patient leaders and focused on advocacy, science and research, and building strong, resilient organisations. 

HAT and Alopecia UK Merger

In July 2019, we completed a successful merger with Helping Alopecia Trust (HAT) in Northern Ireland. You can read more about the merger here. We're looking forward to building on the work that HAT have done and get an Alopecia UK support group up and running in Northern Ireland in 2020.


As well as the public awareness raised at our own events, and raising awareness with researchers and medical professionals at external conferences, we've supported individuals wishing to do their own thing by providing Alopecia UK leaflets, posters and t-shirts. We've supported a number of media pieces, both print and radio, throughout 2019 and continued to promote our alopecia e-learning module which was created with the Royal College of GPs and has now been undertaken by approximately 500 GPs. The module was designed to help GPs understand how they can help patients with alopecia with our input focusing on the psychological impact of hair loss. Pictured below are some of the volunteers who took part in the MADHurst Carnival parade in Midhurst, West Sussex. 


We are extremely excited that Alopecia UK now has its first ever Research Manager! Carolyn is a scientist with a PhD in Immunology. As well as working part-time for Alopecia UK, Carolyn also works as a funding manager for a university. She's bringing all this experience together and we hope it means exciting things for alopecia research! Since starting in October, Carolyn has been busy getting all the things in place that we need so that we can continue to develop our research activity. We are delighted that Alopecia UK has been accepted as a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), which means we work to the principles of peer review that they have set out. Having AMRC membership is seen as a hallmark of quality research funding. We have also become a non-commercial partner of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and joined the Charities Research Involvement Group (CRIG) to support the development of our Lay Research Panel, yet another thing that Carolyn has been developing. We will also be launching new funding opportunities for alopecia research in January 2020! 

Carolyn has also recently summed up all Alopecia UK's research activity to date in this short blog post. If you're interested in research, we recommend that you give it a read! 

Funding Bids

In 2019, we have been successful in our applications for funding from the Vocational Training Charitable Trust Foundation (VTCTF) and British Association of Dermatologists (BAD). VTCTF awarded Alopecia UK with the funds for both Kerry and Kelly's job roles and BAD recently confirmed we were successful in our bid for funds to develop a new support resource for schools. We are extremely grateful to both VTCTF and BAD for their generous support and we look forward to reporting back to them with details of what we've managed to achieve and produce with the funds they've awarded to Alopecia UK. 

Continued Public Support

We have been incredibly lucky to have the continued support of many individuals, groups and businesses who have helped us to continue our work with their fundraising and donations. We would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every person who has contributed to Alopecia UK in 2019, whether this be through fundraising, one-off donations, regular monthly donations, volunteering, becoming an AUK VIP or joining our Service Directory. We couldn't do the work we do without you all! 

2020 - A Milestone Year for Alopecia UK (and Jen and Amy!)

We can't wait to get stuck into a new year (and decade!) of Support, Awareness and Research at Alopecia UK. Kelly and Naomi have been working hard on pulling together a number of fabulous events for you to attend. It would be great to see you at one or more of these events. 

2020 is a BIG year for us as we celebrate our 15th birthday. In September 2020, it will be 15 years since we registered as a charity with the Charity Commission of England and Wales. Jen and Amy also have milestones in 2020. For Jen, 2020 marks 25 years of having alopecia and for Amy it will be 10 years since her first headshave. As such, they're bringing all this together and want to raise £15,000 to celebrate Alopecia UK's 15th birthday - #AUK15for15. They have both set themselves personal challenges for next year and hope to fundraise for Alopecia UK in the process...and of course they've roped the whole team in too! You can find out all about the Team AUK's plans for #AUK15for15 here. We would LOVE for the alopecia community to get behind Alopecia UK in our 15th year. 

Ways to Get Involved

There are lots of ways for you to support Alopecia UK: 

- Make a one-off or regular donation

- Fundraise for Alopecia UK

- Volunteer for Alopecia UK

- Attend an Alopecia UK event

- Become an AUK VIP