I would like to update you all on the funding application we submitted on March 15th. Given the game-changing significance of this bid, a lot of effort was contributed by a number of people. Myself and the rest of our board of trustees are hugely proud of our comprehensive application, at the heart of which was a three-year development plan.
Several notable elements helped support the bid. First, a big thank you to the twenty-five people – more than we dared hope – who have so far expressed an interest in becoming volunteers at the Local Hubs we plan to establish in London, Birmingham and Liverpool in the first year of the project. Some of the comments we received were so inspirational that they were shared – anonymously of course – with the funding panel.
We also provided the panel with seven superb letters of support from the very ENT consultants we hope to work with in our expanded network of Hubs. These expressions of intent from volunteers and the medical profession will act as demonstrable proof to the funding panel that Fifth Sense can readily expand its network; bringing patients, ENT clinicians and GPs closer together for everyone’s benefit. Our Hubs will offer patients better advice and support and crucially, enable a heightened understanding among clinicians and the wider public of the impact wrought by smell and taste disorders.
The latter point was itself a challenge to our bid. Wouldn’t the funding panel by equally unaware of the issues faced by sufferers? How could we prove that our cause was every bit as worthwhile as others the panel is adjudicating on? We answered these concerns in the best way possible, by providing immensely powerful stories told by Fifth Sense members and volunteers. The panel will read moving personal accounts of the struggles and upset caused by anosmia and parosmia. The stories cover the spectrum of smell and taste disorders and from numerous origins – congenital, head trauma, post viral and polyp obstruction. I’m hugely grateful to those who took the time to write these extraordinary accounts and we’ll be publishing these on a new section of our website very soon.
We could not have done more in our efforts to secure the funding. Keep your fingers and toes crossed for a successful outcome. We expect to hear by the end of April.
Fifth Sense Chair and founder