Alton Towers with Alopecia UK

12 April

 

Last weekend was an event I have been looking forward to in a while, a trip to Alton Towers with a charity that means a lot to me. The event is designed to raise awareness but is also very supportive for those that have or know somebody with Alopecia. The charity is quite a small one but it helps many people (including myself) in a big way so I was more than happy to go and support the event, and as a lover of rollercoasters I was thrilled it was being held at Alton Towers. 

Everybody who was there for the charity wore the charity t-shirts, which are a vibrant blue so that everybody wearing them made a big impact and it also helped everybody feel part of a big group so they didn't feel afraid to get involved in the day. For me, I went with my sister but I found I was comfortable freely talking to people who I had never met before, not just about the condition but finding out more about the people that were there who understand what life is like living with Alopecia. It was such a fun, friendly day, everybody was waving and smiling and you could see everybody was having fun and just enjoying being themselves without having to worry.

We got to the park early so everybody could meet outside and go in together. We split into groups depending on what sort of rides you wanted to go on, we went for the 'thrill seeker' rides which included Rita, Thirteen, Oblivion, Smiler, Galactica and Nemisis (Thirteen and Nemisis being personal favourites, I've also never tried smiler as the queue is normally too long). Going round in groups was optional but being the first time at the event we decided it would be fun to go round in the group and break off later if there was anything else we wanted to go on. 

 

One of the advantages we found of going in April is that you get nowhere near the queues you do if you go in the summer, smiler was the only ride with a particularly long queue but even that was a fraction of the size of the normal queue length. We were fortunate as well that even though it is spring we had amazing weather, it was warm and sunny all day. I won't go into detail in this blog on each ride as that will probably not be overly fun to read but if you want to find out more about any of the rides you are welcome to ask. With the queues so low we also got to go on the rapids at the end of the day on top of the thrill seeker rides and we got on the runaway mins train at the end which was planned to be filled with all people in Alopecia blue t-shirts which was great to see.

There were a couple of let downs on the day by Alton Towers, some of the rides had to be closed temporarily which held things up, Galactica didn't work properly (although that was a bonus for me because I loved it as air) and when we went round the rapids there was a massive blockage at the end which took forever to sort which was not fun sitting in the boat and meant some people missed out.

 

Apart from these few things we had such a fun day and I'd happily go back to both Alton Towers and an Alopecia event. It was well organised and it gave me such a boost. Whilst I still enjoy wearing headwear I don't feel like I have to wear it now and in fact the confidence I got from the event carried over and when I was sittting in the sun at the rugby the following day I was happy take my headwear off and sit with nothing on head (apart from sun cream!) which is quite a big step for me.

Alton Towers tip: take food and drinks with you if you can. Buying there is not only costly, the food stalls always have queues which are annoying to wait in and take away from ride time. As we were part of the group we were able to use the hospitality suite for lunch which was great but we would have missed out on that social aspect if we would have been waiting in a queue for food.

To all of the people at Alopecia UK, the ambassadors and volunteers, we had a great day and it couldn't have happened without you so thank you! 

Dawn x

 

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