This month we asked new London support group leader, Amy, to tell us about the group.
How long has the London support group being going?
The London support group has been running for over 8 years, led by the wonderful Carolyn who has made the group what it is today. I have recently started facilitating the meetings.
How often do you meet?
We currently meet every 2-3 months, on average, in Central London.
Why did you decide to become a support group leader?
I first attended this meeting for personal support with my own alopecia areata. I wasn’t sure what to expect and if anything a tad skeptical. I was pleasantly surprised how supporting and uplifting it was to talk to others with alopecia. Guidance, advice, laughter and tears were shared, and I felt comfortable for the first time taking my wig off in front of strangers. I found it to be an incredibly supportive environment, and wishing to support Alopecia UK and Carolyn who was wishing to eventually step down as group leader, I began volunteering to support the group.
Do you always meet in the same venue?
Support meetings are regularly held at the Marlborough Arms near Tottenham Court Road. This pub offers a friendly and warm environment, and a private room without charge. As I am sure you can appreciate, this is a big win in London! We also try to organise other types of events such as walks, picnics and talks/workshops.
What can people expect from a London support group meeting?
We have a lot of members in the support group, with differing types of alopecia and stages. We always have a mixture of new and long standing group attendees, and support, advice and guidance is shared throughout - I have never been to a meeting where I haven't learnt something new - be it wig suppliers, treatment or how to tie a head scarf!
As a new lead to the group, I am exploring new activities for the support group, and I am currently researching the option for a children's group in London. I have had alopecia since I was a child and am keen for there to be more support for children.
All are welcome to pop along to our meetings. Please feel free to bring a friend or member of family for support. Additionally, you are always welcome to email me on the support group email. I am happy to respond to any queries or comments you may have.
I hope to continue with the commitment and enthusiasm that Carolyn has demonstrated over these years. I am sure past and present attendees of the London support group echo my sentiment when I thank Carolyn for all the hard work and support she has offered us over the years.
Alopecia UK would like to say ‘welcome’ to Amy as our new London support group leader.
We would also like to reiterate Amy’s comments about Carolyn’s commitment to the group and extend a huge thank you to Carolyn for everything she was done over the past 8 years to keep the London group running. Carolyn has put a huge amount of energy, enthusiasm and time into getting the group to the position it’s in today. Carolyn will still be involved with the group, helping to lead the group walks and attending meetings.