AbScent, the charity caring about people touched by smell loss is joining forces with pharmacy emporium John Bell & Croyden for a series of smell training workshops.
More than 4 million people in the UK are currently experiencing smell and taste loss. Of these people, *research reveals that 46% also experience smell distortions: Parosmia is a distorted odour with a known source e.g. onions smell like rotten meat; and phantosmia is a smell sensation without a source e.g. random cigarette smoke without source.
The original sessions sold-out within 24 hours so they are extending sessions into February.
Smell training is one of the only treatments evidenced to improve smell. Smell training is the process of actively sniffing the same four scents every day, spending around 20 seconds on each scent with intense concentration. It is easy, safe, and recommended by doctors. Anyone can do smell training if they would like to improve their sense of smell.
Sessions take place on 27th January and last one hour tutored by AbScent Founder, Chrissi Kelly. Additional dates will be scheduled throughout February. Please check website for further details.
Attendees will be required to observe Covid-19 protocols and the training will take place in an air purified environment that is Covid-19 free.
Friday 3rd December is the UN’s International Day of Persons With Disabilities, and coinciding with it this year is Purple Sock Day, established by Parallel Lifestyle, a British company that runs events for people with disabilities.
The United Nations’ International Day of Persons With Disabilities (IDPWD), a crucial day to both raise awareness of the challenges that people with disabilities face, but also a day to celebrate the diversity of character, experience and abilities that so many people with disabilities possess.
Hearteningly, in recent times, more and more individuals with disabilities have begun to feature in mainstream television, film and culture, such as Rose Ayling-Ellis on Strictly Come Dancing, actress Millicent Simmonds (of A Quiet Place fame), Love Island’s Hugo Hammond, and social media fashion icons Hermon and Heroda Berhane. Despite this increasing move towards a more inclusive culture, however, there are still many aspects of society where there are considerable disparities, such as the accessibility of starting a business.
Entrepreneurship is one of the most challenging and intimidating experiences that anyone can face, both professionally and personally. Starting a business inherently involves a great deal of risk. There’s of course the financial risk of taking a loan from the bank or putting your life’s savings on the line, and risking losing it all or becoming indebted. But there’s also the risk to your reputation, your pride, and above all, your mental health.
But starting your own business can also be one of the most rewarding endeavours that you can pursue. Entrepreneurship is an expression of a character’s independence, ingenuity and creativity. Though, as with all pursuits in life, for some people there are a greater number of obstacles to becoming business owners than there are for the average person.
In Q2 of this year, there were 4.4m disabled people in employment in the UK, an estimated increase of 300,000 from the same period one year prior, and an overall increase of 1.5m since earliest comparable definitions of ‘disability’ were used in 2013. Though this is a positive trend in relative terms, in absolute terms, the statistics leave something to be desired. The disability employment rate in Q2 of this year was 52.7%. This stands in stark contrast to an employment rate of 81.0% for non-disabled people – equalling an employment gap of 28.4%.
This is a complex and hugely multifactorial subject, but it is largely a story of vicious cycles. Those with disabilities (Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans or Special Education Needs (SEN)) on average attain lower grades than those without disabilities in schools in the UK. This is typically due to lack of resources for sufficient differentiated teaching strategies and dedicated time for disabled students, and formal assessment methods that may not be accessible for many disabled students. This lower attainment consequently leads to lower numbers of disabled students entering higher education. In 2018/19, for example, just 8.9% of pupils with an EHC plan and 20.6% of pupils with SEN support progressed to higher education by age 19, compared with 47.3% of non-disabled students.
Higher education is the primary means of acquiring specialised skills and entering a skilled career, and in doing so gaining experience of how businesses are administered – a familiarity that is crucial for an individual’s confidence in being able to start their own business It therefore stands to reason that a group with limited accessibility to professional experience will be less inclined to start their own business.
Not only this, however, but disability is also strongly associated with poverty and financial hardship. Families of disabled children on average, face extra costs of £581 a month, meaning a reduced ability to provide extracurricular support or resources due to limited means. Furthermore, as an adult, life costs £583 more on average a month, due to care and support-related expenses, which significantly reduces an individual’s ability to save money to start a business.
Collectively, this creates an environment where entrepreneurship is simply less accessible to disabled people than the average person. From additional financial pressures that are associated with disabilities, and lack of specialised and accessible resources in state education that can facilitate success, to prejudices from employers regarding the perceived competence of disabled people in the workplace and the reduced confidence that comes from experience rejection or failure. Though these are conditions that are improving over time, there is still some way to go. Fortunately, however, there are charities and organisations that are working hard to hasten the pace of change.
As any business owner reading this knows, entrepreneurship can be one of the most fulfilling pursuits that a person can experience. And as a society, we should do our best to make experiences like that as accessible as possible for everyone, regardless of background or perceived disability.
Coinciding with IDPWD this year is Purple Sock Day, led by Parallel Lifestyle, an organisation that runs events dedicated for people with disabilities. Purple Sock Day aims to raise awareness of the challenges that D/deaf and disabled entrepreneurs in the UK face and raise funds to support them. To do this, they have partnered with BAM Bamboo Clothing, to produce and sell special, limited edition pairs of purple socks. 50% of the profits from the sale of these socks will, in collaboration with Hatch Enterprise, go towards funding schemes that facilitate D/deaf and disabled entrepreneurship.
So, to support this brilliant cause yourself, you can purchase your very own socks here. And remember to share your support on social media by hashtagging #PurpleSockDay.
Can an object’s meaning be re-established through material transformation and contextualisation? This is the question award-winning ethical jeweller Arabel Lebrusan is tackling with a new art exhibition at The Higgins Museum, Bedford and online until October 2022.
The show will present seven new works in a variety of mediums, including photography, audio, sculpture and, of course, jewellery.
On display are a set of 275 rings cast in metal recycled from the confiscated weapons. Representing the number of knife homicides in England and Wales from 2019 to 2020, the bands are also created in shapes and sizes that symbolise the percentage of these deaths that were men, women and children.
This poignant visual work ties into Blunt Blades Exchange, a socially engaging art project organised by Lebrusan earlier in 2021. The programme saw more of the police-confiscated knives repurposed into rings, then gifted to nine women whose lives have been changed irrevocably by knife crime. Through a series of conversations, Arabel and the participants explored the meanings and associations of the rings, working together to personalize them with designs that draw primarily on themes of healing and empowerment.
The project was supported by the Women’s Support Centre Surrey and Quiet Down There, a not-for-profit organisation that encourages individuals to articulate their unique cultures through artistic mediums. Like the Blunt Blades exhibition, Blunt Blades Exchange questions the meanings associated with a material and explores what happens to those narratives when the material itself is transformed.
“Objects have the potential to hold memories. I’m fascinated by this idea that matter can vibrate, communicating with us as human beings; with the ways materials carry inherent meanings and how those meanings can be reshaped,” Lebrusan explains.
“Since the day I received the confiscated knives eight years ago, my mind has been occupied with the idea of transforming the metal from these objects into works that could evoke other emotions. What makes a kitchen knife become a deadly weapon? What makes a deadly weapon become a one-of-a-kind jewel? What makes that one-of-a-kind jewel become a trophy or a tool for healing?”
Blunt Blades is now open to view in person and online until October 2022.
In a world where we need to reduce waste, embrace renewable resources and lighten our carbon footprint, which European tourist attraction is making the biggest commitment to sustainability?
The energy team from Uswitch analysed 27 of the world’s most-visited tourist attractions and ranked them based on eco-friendly credentials such as water reduction, emissions, sustainable travel, re-wilding efforts and renewable energy.
From best to worst, these are the European tourist attractions with the most commitment to sustainability:
- Natural History Museum – 44/60
- Eiffel Tower – 42.5
- Disneyland Paris – 42
- Efteling Theme Park – 39
- The Vatican – 37
- Tivoli Gardens – 36.5
- Alton Towers – 35.5
- LEGOLAND Windsor – 32
- National Gallery – 31.5
- Tower of London – 26.5
- British Museum – 25.5
- London Eye – 17
- La Sagrada Familia – 16
The Natural History Museum in London scored top marks for its eco-friendly credentials, having the highest consciousness when it comes to its impact on the environment. In 2019, the museum had successfully reduced its total greenhouse gas emissions by 5%, making its carbon footprint 10,139 tonnes.
The museum is equipped with a trigeneration energy centre that generates most of the energy used by the museum – which has saved more than 15,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide since installation.
But it doesn’t stop there – throughout the building and onsite cafes, the museum has implemented recycling schemes to help reduce waste. And the National History Museum is undertaking a host of measures to help reduce water consumption, including sensor-controlled taps and dual-flush cisterns fitted into toilets.
No fate of the dinosaurs, then for the museum thanks to its eco cred.
What you can do to help the planet here.