Fifth Sense has secured an award of £238,815 to deliver the outcomes contained in our ambitious, fully costed, 3-year Development Plan. The plan was developed by the Fifth Sense board of trustees with support from an external consultant between March 2018 and March 2019. It featured some significant contributions from members, several of whom provided telling testimonies for the National Lottery decision panel, and was augmented by a number of letters of support from some of the UK’s leading Consultant Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeons.
To have grown to this point – so soon after the charity’s launch in 2014 – is a remarkable achievement of which we are hugely proud. It’s down to you, too; the voices of our many members and over a million visitors to our website since we re-launched it only three years ago. We were able to draw on a large body of evidence in developing the application including the results of the various surveys we’ve sent to members, feedback you’ve given us at the events we’ve organised and the challenges and hopes you’ve shared with us. Together, you have helped prove the value and worth of Fifth Sense.
So, what’s in the Development Plan? We’re going to be presenting more details of our plans in due course, but here are some highlights.
Two new salaried appointments – a Development Director and Information Officer – will drive forwards our ambitious agenda, gearing up our operations to benefit a lot more people.
Many of you already know about our Hubs in Newcastle and Scotland. The Hubs bring patients, ENT Consultants – those who specialise in disorders of the nose and sinuses – and GPs closer together for everyone’s benefit. Run by our dedicated volunteers, Julie and Joanne, they have been hugely successful. So now, we plan to extend our reach with three additional Hubs in London, Birmingham and Liverpool!
Professor Claire Hopkins, Consultant ENT Surgeon at Guy’s Hospital in London, is delighted to be partnering with us. She explains; “Fifth Sense is an invaluable resource. It provides important information on the different causes, practical instructions for smell training, advice on safety issues, and directs patients to active trials. I direct all my patients to Fifth Sense at the end of my consultation.”
Those who run the new Hubs will follow in Julie and Joanne’s footsteps. They’ll co-ordinate events at which clinicians hear patients’ stories to highlight the impact our conditions have on daily life. They’ll arrange informal member gatherings, allowing people to share stories and offer support to each other. They may also run Fifth Sense stands at events, including those aimed at the wider public, such as food festivals or science events.
Mr Sean Carrie, Consultant ENT Surgeon at Newcastle Freeman Hospital , shares his own Hub experiences; “I have been fortunate enough to work with Fifth Sense on a number of patient information exchange days. This has enabled patients and clinicians to share good practice, challenges and frustrations with one another. This cooperative working is leading to avenues of research to improve understanding and treatments in the future. This would not have been possible without Fifth Sense.”
On a national level, Fifth Sense will be upping its game with social media and PR activities to better address the lack of understanding that persists within the medical profession and general public. So, watch out for us popping up in the news!
Fifth Sense founder and Chair, Duncan Boak, provides a personal message in this video.
Needless to say, our new people, new resources and new partnerships will take several months to put in place, and the activities we’ve outlined will develop over the three funded years – this a major transition and we’re determined to get everything right. Of course, we’ll soon be in touch with those who have already expressed an interest in becoming volunteers at the Local Hubs. And we’ll make sure we keep everyone posted on our progress, as we gear up for what is set to be an exciting future.
Our thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund – the largest funder of community activity in the UK – for their recognition of the work we are doing. Thanks too must go to all those who made this funding possible: players of the National Lottery itself. Finally, we’d like to thank everyone who has supported us and made a donation – whether money, time, or expertise – to help us reach this point. This is a fantastic example of what can be achieved when a community of people with a shared purpose works together, and we’re looking forward to being able to do even more over the next three years.