Alopecia UK has attended its first conference for 2016, sparking its annual circuit of the medical conferences.
Last week Alopecia UK's Communications & Fundraising Manager, Amy, was joined by volunteer Kate to host an information & awareness stand at the British Dermatology Nursing Group's (BDNG) annual conference
. This year it took place in Bournemouth and Amy & Kate, joined by Trustee Jackie (attending in her capacity as a dermatology nurse), even managed to dip their toes in the English Channel and somehow take in a Barry Manilow concert! (The mind boggles!)
Lots of dermatology nurses took away some information about the charity and seemed to take on board our comments about how important it is for patients to be signposted to patient support groups such as Alopecia UK. Further discussions were held around the psychological impact of hair loss, treatments and wigs, with many sharing our frustration about the 'postcode lottery' that exists in the UK (England particularly) regarding wig provision (Alopecia UK is doing some work on this so watch this space...)
Amy attended a really interesting session about Improving Psychodermatology Services in the UK by Dr Anthony Bewley and hopes that there will be an increase in psychodermatology service provision in the UK in the future.
This week Jen is attending the 'Appearance Matters
' conference hosted by the Centre for Appearance Research. In the past, Alopecia UK has highlighted a number of their studies and advertised for participants. Jen, with her psychological studies background, has always been keen to attend to find out more and this year is doing just that.
Next week, it will be the turn of Alopecia UK's Events & Support Manager, Jen, to 'man the stand' at the British Association of Dermatologists' (BAD) annual meeting
in Birmingham. Jen will be there from the 5th-7th July, supported by volunteer Theresa. Amy, who thought she'd be leaving the BAD conference to Jen is still Birmingham-bound next week as she has been invited to speak! It's her first time, so she's a little nervous, but it's a great opportunity to speak about her personal experience of alopecia and the impact that being in touch with a charity like Alopecia UK had on her in the early days of diagnosis.
And to end the year of conferences, Amy will be returning to the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) annual conference
in Harrogate in early October, supported by volunteer Emma. Alopecia UK attended the RCGP conference for the first time last year and it was such a success that we decided we should make it a regular thing. Many of you tell us that your interactions with your GPs are not as positive as they could be. By increasing awareness of the emotional and psychological challenges of alopecia, we hope to improve the patient experience.
A busy few months ahead for the AUK team but everything we do is with the vision of improving the lives of those with alopecia.