Have I ever mentioned how much I love my job? I’m not entirely sure I have…(!) But, you need to know that I really do LOVE my job. So. Much.
Last weekend I had the very special honour of working with charity Alopecia UK, providing henna crowns, henna tiaras and henna wreaths to attendees at their annual Big Weekend event. The weekend is dedicated to providing workshops, speakers, and services for those living with alopecia in its various guises, with activities that vary for children, parents, teens and adults. For many of those attending, it is the first time they have been able to meet others in similar situations – and also the first time they feel comfortable enough to remove their hair or head coverings amongst other people. It is also a wonderful support network for those with loved ones who have alopecia. The empowerment this brings often transforms a person’s outlook and confidence immeasurably. To be in the presence of this for a weekend, and to be a small part of someone’s first time, stepping out in public without their hair, was incredible. It was moving, emotional and so very inspiring.
From each of these wonderful ladies, I learned that our appearances are not a reflection of who we are as people. That our moods, our personality and our attitude and outlook on life is what defines us. That well-meaning ‘advice’ and questions from others is a reflection of that person’s own experiences and not a reflection on yourself. That true courage is stepping out, allowing the world to see you for exactly who you are, with no masks.
What people don’t realise is that behind the informative, helpful and thorough website, communications, planning and personable support are two amazing women holding it all together. Jen and Amy are responsible for the daily running of the national charity. As the events manager, Jen has organised this annual weekend event (amongst several events) for four years now and draws attendees from all over the world. As I worked and connected with each henna crown recipient, I began to learn that due to the workload required for such a large event, the next Alopecia UK Big Weekend would not take place until 2019 – to allow them time to grow their team, and enable them with more hands on deck for future events.
With this in mind, I decided to launch my first design eBook, dedicated to henna crown designs as created last weekend for Alopecia UK. Featuring 12 designs, hand drawn and downloadable in PDF format, this book is now available to purchase via my webshop. 50% of all proceeds will be donated to Alopecia UK to further assist in their aim to provide information, advice and support to those with alopecia.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to Jen and Amy for including myself and also henna as a part of their amazing event. It was such a great weekend, a lot of fun AND included my favourite photographer (!) as my roommate – what more could I ask for, really?