2004:  Alopecia UK first established

Alopecia UK was established in 2004 by Vicky Rees (nee Spencer Bowdage) with the aim of creating a website, as there was a lack of information available online at that time.  Official charitable status was granted in 2005. 

2005 -2012: The Early Years

During this time Alopecia UK established a structure for volunteers, the Management Committee and of course a panel of Trustees.  Subsequently the charity supported a network of face to face support groups, introduced a membership scheme, developed a suppliers' directory and email account for questions.  These early years were a real family effort with Vicky being supported by her mum, dad, sister and brother-in-law, all of whom took on various volunteer roles of admin, treasurer and/or trustee. All the hard work undertaken in the charity’s early years, provided the foundation for the charity that exists today.

2012-2013:  Transition Period

During 2012 and 2013, as more people began to get involved in Alopecia UK, the Spencer-Bowdage family gradually stepped down from Alopecia UK in order to focus on growing families and to pursue long-held career ambitions.  

2013:  Alopecia UK Hosts a Flashmob Event

On 1st September 2013, Alopecia UK held its very first large scale awareness event, bringing together a group of people with alopecia, from all over the UK, in Liverpool for a flashmob.  A video was created and shared widely on social media platforms to raise awareness of alopecia throughout September (alopecia awareness month).

2013:  £20,000 Donation Received from European Hair Research Society (EHRS)

Following Alopecia UK’s attendance at the World Congress for Hair Research in 2013, including an inspiring presentation from our then Chair of Trustees Jackie Tomlinson, the EHRS gave a £20,000 donation to the charity. The money was used to fund a Hair Loss Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) to establish priorities for research.

2014:  Introduction of staff resource

In 2014 Alopecia UK was at a stage where it could finally invest in staff time.  This trend has continued and we are very proud in 2018 to have taken on our third full time member of staff, providing the charity with more of the resource it desperately needs to fulfil the charity’s aims.  Having staff and being more active has led to Alopecia UK’s income increasing,  which in turn means that the charity has been able to develop and deliver on more projects.  

2014:  First Alton Towers Event

2014:  First Big Weekend Event in London

2015:  Priorities for Research Established

The Hair Loss PSP published two top ten lists for priorities for research in November 2015, following a consultation that began in January 2014.

2016:  BBC Eggheads Win of £29,000

In March 2016, a team of 5 ladies with alopecia, put together by our ambassador Sue Hampton, beat the BBC’s ‘Eggheads’ to win £29,000 for Alopecia UK. The team kindly donated their winnings to Alopecia UK resulting in the single-biggest donation to the charity.

2016:  Alopecia UK Moves into its First Office

In September 2016, Alopecia UK moved into its first ever office premises meaning that finally, after years of working from spare bedrooms and dining room tables, the charity had its own, much-needed space.

2017:  Merger between Alopecia UK and Autoimmune Alopecia UK

On 1st November 2017, after months of talks and legal review, Alopecia UK formally merged with Autoimmune Alopecia Research UK (AAR-UK).  AAR-UK was founded by Jayne Waddell in 2012.  Jayne believed that not enough was being done to develop diversified medical research into the condition and set up AAR-UK.  The aim was to collate studies and surveys within the alopecia community to investigate common factors within the disease and work towards fundraising for future projects to find a potential cure or treatment plan.
A great deal of careful consideration was given to the structure of the merged charity and how best to facilitate the merger. As a result, it was agreed that the most pragmatic, and cost effective, approach was to dissolve AAR-UK and pass its assets to AUK; the larger and more established of the two charities.  It was decided by both sets of Trustees that the name Alopecia UK would remain, as it best represented the national charity.  The AAR-UK Trustees joined the AUK Trustee Board, with the combined board steering the future direction of Alopecia UK.

2017:  New logo for Alopecia UK

The new logo is inspired by a dandelion. The dandelion, like alopecia, has associations with loss. While we did want to incorporate this element we also wanted a logo that would feel very positive, with a shape that would feel distinctive and stand out from the crowd (also like alopecia).  There is a nod towards hair loss with some florets missing and a space in the middle which could be seen as a patch of alopecia. We felt that visually the shape is in keeping with alopecia as a whole and would hopefully resonate with the alopecia community.  Our choice of colours were important.  Over the years Alopecia UK introduced two blues into their colour palette and, through our awareness events, blue seemed to become synonymous with alopecia with many people referring to the ‘blue army’ or their ‘blue family’.  As such we felt that it was important to keep blue quite strong in the logo.  The most distinctive colour from AAR-UK was their bright pink and as such we have introduced this into the colour palette.  We felt that having the single floret of pink made it ‘pop’ against the blue.  Although based on the dandelion concept, we like that the final shape is actually open to interpretation with our previewers saying that it looked like a flower, a firework and a starburst.  

2018:  New website, new start!

In 2018 we developed a new website which we feel represents the start of a new chapter for Alopecia UK.  We are excited to be proactively working across all of our aims of Support, Awareness and Research.  We hope that many of you will join us on this journey and help us to continue developing Alopecia UK over the coming years to provide the services and research projects that are so desperately needed for those affected by alopecia.