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AbScent's Next Chapter: Looking ahead with purpose and perspective

AbScent is changing, because our community is changing too. Today we would like to share an update about the future of AbScent.

In light of Covid-19’s reducing impact and the evolving landscape of the current financial climate , we've made the strategic decision to scale back our services. Our mission to serve you while responsibly balancing our goals and resources means that we will have to change the way we work. We will still be here for you, but we need to pause and take a deep breath, recalibrate, and ensure that AbScent is robust and ready to serve you even better when the need arises again.

Continuing our commitment to support 

While we may be reducing some of our outreach, we're still very much present and committed to our cause.

We continue to offer:

  • A comforting space, via our online Network, for everyone affected by anosmia, parosmia, and hyposmia to offer mutual support and conversation.
  • Smell training kits, a scientifically valid lifeline for many, will still be available. We will also have helpful replacement materials available in the future
  • Our website, an ever-present source of guidance, from practical advice on self-care  to the latest research findings.
  • A regular newsletter with current news and advice
  • Monthly drop-ins with our incredible founder, Chrissi Kelly, through our vibrant online community.
Reflecting on our journey

Let's take a moment to look back at how far we've come together:

  • When Covid-19 challenged our senses and well-being, AbScent swiftly offered support to the affected and became a mouthpiece in the international media. Many are still recovering their sense of smell years later, challenging prior beliefs about limits on recovery.
  • Our first Christmas stands out, where we and the patient community offered support and solace during a challenging season that emphasised isolation and sensory loss.
  • Our founder, Chrissi Kelly’s dedication was reflected in over 20 papers she co-authored, bringing our shared experience of smell loss in this community to bear on scientific research 
  • Our newsletter, a beacon of hope and knowledge, reached over 9,000 readers each month, updating them on the latest research, crowd-sourced tips, self-help advice and shared stories.
  • With a bustling private network of 7,641 members and a vast Facebook following of nearly 65,000 across our three groups, we fostered connections and shared stories of resilience and recovery.
  • Distributing tens of thousands of smell training kits globally and offering both online and face-to-face training, we've empowered many on their recovery journey.
  • Our website emerged as an authority on living with and managing smell loss. We drew in patients, families, clinicians, and researchers from around the world. This allowed us to combat misinformation swiftly.
  • The AbScent Grant furthered research objectives relevant to our community. We’ve supported two early researchers in their work: one from Monell on the usefulness of trigeminal sensation in food appreciation for those with olfactory impairment, and one from the University of Dresden investigating olfactory training in the elderly. This year’s 10 community 'drop-ins' were a resounding success. These sessions gave patients the platform to connect, share their experiences, and chat directly with Chrissi Kelly, an invaluable experience for many.
  • Our engaging Podcast, 'AbScent presents', deserves special mention. Through it, we connected with an array of guests — from ENT specialists, clinicians, and researchers to writers and our very own community members. Each episode offered insights, stories, and experiences, shedding light on the nuances of smell and taste loss.

Achieving these milestones was possible due to our dedicated team and the invaluable contributions of our volunteers. To every one of you – thank you. Our strength is in our community.  

The path ahead

AbScent will need funding to continue our mission. The UK is facing a financial crisis that is especially affecting small charities, and many – some 50% – are in financial danger. Times are hard for everyone, and donor fatigue, especially for an invisible condition like smell loss, is hard to achieve. 

As we navigate this transition, we need your unwavering support more than ever. Can you help us? Your continued donations will ensure AbScent remains a beacon for those navigating the world of smell and taste loss. The AbScent community has been and will continue to be fundamental to our authority on smell disorders. So let's stay in this together, building on our shared learnings and mutual support so that we can scale and expand our impact now and in the future.

The AbScent Team

August 17, 2023