“fighting leukaemia is our mission. We will do everything we can to hasten the day when ALL children survive“.
Tony & Maggie Rizzo
Trustees, The Alternative Hair Charitable Foundation
The Alternative Hair Charitable Foundation is dedicated to fighting leukaemia
In 1983 hairdresser, Tony Rizzo, and his wife, Maggie, lost their first-born child, Valentino, to leukaemia at the tender age of 2 years and 7 month old. They decided to hit back at this vicious disease in the best way they knew: by engaging their many friends in hairdressing worldwide in an entirely new and audacious charity fund raising event
- The Alternative Hair Show. Staged at London’s Camden Theatre in October 1983 the Show was a huge success, raising an enormous £7,500, which was immediately donated to Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, the UK’s leading blood cancer research charity.
The Alternative Hair Show was born!
The Shows have grown into one of the most exciting and sought after events in the international hairdressing calendar. The flagship London Show, now in its 33rd year, is staged at the Royal Albert Hall. There have been Shows in Chicago (10), Bologna (2), Vienna (2), Moscow, Seoul (1) and Tokyo (1). Proceeds of the Shows, now in excess of £8.5 million, have been donated to Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research in the UK and to leukaemia charities in the host country.
In January 2012, to mark the 30Th Anniversary of this unique fund raising initiative, it was decided to set up The Alternative Hair Charitable Foundation. The Foundation is a grant making trust committed to funding charities with established experience and expertise in the advancement of research into and the treatment and welfare of people suffering leukaemia and related cancers of the blood.
The Foundation wants to build upon the success the Alternative Hair Shows have achieved over the last 30 years by establishing a focal point for hairdressing, a profession renowned for its qualities of caring and generosity, to achieve yet more in fighting leukaemia.
So far, its declared aims are to support the outstanding work of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, which truly is making a real difference to the outlook for children with leukaemia. The Foundation is also working with world-renowned Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital to extend the benefits of research to more children. The first steps will be taken this May when a small working party of experts will visit the Ukraine to assess the feasibility of setting up a nurse training programme designed to improve the quality of treatment so that more children survive and go on to live normal lives.