Autoimmune Alopecia Research-UK was registered as a charity in November 2012 and began fundraising in May 2013. Alopecia areata has been viewed as a cosmetic, dermatological condition for many years and AAR-UK was set up to fund and develop diversified research. We are the first charity in the UK to fundraise for medical research into this autoimmune disease and are currently engaged with researchers in Europe and the UK.
Autoimmune Alopecia Research UK (AAR-UK) aims are to collate studies and surveys within our own community to investigate common factors with the disease. In the future we would like to build a complete survey of sufferers in the UK. These initial surveys will stand us in better stead for initiating our own lines of research and attracting researchers who would be interested in taking up such projects.
The charity will be campaigning and raising awareness of autoimmune alopecia and educating sufferers and the public about autoimmunity. Our main objective will be fundraising for future research projects to find a potential cure or treatment plan to manage autoimmune alopecia.
The fundraising will be from a mixture of public donations, carrying out fundraising activities, seeking endorsements and attracting patrons to take part in media campaigns to raise awareness and interest all to raise capital to engage a research team.
We hope to benefit the public through increasing awareness of autoimmune alopecia, resulting in the general public being more understanding of the disease. We aim to highlight the increasing prevalence of the disease and make sufferers feel less ashamed and embarrassed about living with autoimmune alopecia.
- Hugh Gallagher Chairperson and Treasurer
- Karen Green Secretary
- Ruth McPherson Marketing and PR Manager
- Nicola McBride Fundraising and Research Co-ordinator
- Craig Gillies Ambassador
- Annika Astrand Consultant Scientist
A little bit more about us:
Hugh Gallagher, Chairperson and Treasurer email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Hugh became involved with AAR-UK through his oldest Grandson, Declan, who was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata in April 2014. Declan has had a bowel condition since infancy and now has to deal with hair loss and no eyebrows. The AAR-UK Bungee Jump in May 2015 was the starting point for Hugh’s involvement in raising funds through family and friends on social media and he was more than pleased when invited to join the board.
“Having someone in my own family suffering from Alopecia has made me more aware of how the illness is dismissed by many in the medical profession. As I am now retired from being a Head Teacher, I want to help raise awareness of the condition and look forward to the world of science finding a cure in the near future.”
Karen Green, Secretary email: email@example.com
Karen lives in Chelmsford with her husband Viv and works as a pastoral assistant in a secondary school. Through her experience of hair loss she also went on to study counselling to help other ladies adapt. Karen has two grown up sons and developed her autoimmune alopecia in 2013. Karen very much has a “never lay down” attitude whereby she will not accept a situation when there seems to be no other answers and for this reason she is extremely passionate and motivated to help drive AAR-UK forward. Karen is secretary to the board and keeps us all in order!
Ruth McPherson, Marketing and PR Manager email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ruth, 28, works as an Advertising Manager for a publishing company in London and lives with her boyfriend Tim in Brixton. She was diagnosed with alopecia totalis after leaving school aged 18. Ruth became involved with AAR-UK after hearing about our biobank project in 2015 and decided to help us by doing a Wig Free Week, which was a huge success raising over £10,000! Going wig-free has inspired her to continue raising awareness of the condition and working towards finding a cure. She joined the board in 2016 and will be helping us with Marketing and PR.
Nicola McBride, Fundraising and Research Co-ordinator (Scotland) email: email@example.com
Nicola’s daughter Sasha has Alopecia Universalis and she came across AAR-UK a few years ago when she was looking for a research charity to fundraise for. She has been one of our top fundraisers, and has organised two children’s balls and a funday. She looks forward to helping the charity move forward with more fundraising, helping others with their fundraising events, helping provide support to fellow parents and alopecians and helping to progress the research into why and how to treat this autoimmune disease.
Craig Gillies, AAR-UK Ambassador
AAR-UK is thrilled to have Craig Gillies as their Charity Ambassador.
Craig, 37, is a former English Rugby Union Player. He enjoyed a 16 year career as a professional, retiring from his final club, Worcester Warriors, in 2013. He began to suffer from autoimmune alopecia universalis at the age of 24 whilst in the full swing of his career. Craig now runs his own successful business, as a coach, mentor and health advocate. He is involved in the work of several local charities in his hometown, Worcester.
To read Craig’s interview click here
Annika Astrand, Consultant Scientist
Annika Åstrand is 47 years old & has had autoimmune alopecia since 2012. She has a doctors degree in physiology and is currently studying immunology.
Annika began reading publications about alopecia areata in August 2013. Annika quickly discovered two things regarding these publications. Firstly, there is more knowledge surrounding the disease than what doctors appear to know and secondly, she is convinced there will be a cure eventually. Annika got in contact with AAR-UK and met Jayne in 2013. Since then alongside AAR-UK she has been striving to get more scientific focus for the disease. Annika is lucky to be working at a pharmaceutical company that allows her to look into the disease.