HoardingUK is the only UK-wide charity dedicated to supporting people affected by hoarding behaviours. Our aim is to empower individuals experiencing hoarding behaviours to achieve spatial and personal change to improve their health and wellbeing, to improve practice amongst professionals, to raise awareness and increase understanding.
We were founded in 2008 by Megan Karnes – who whilst running another national mental health charity – realised that people with hoarding disorder were not being treated the same as people with other mental health disorders.
From that activist launch, we are now a multi-service organisation helping thousands of people each year through our National Helpline, Advocacy; Information Packs; a one-to-one in-home Support Service; a free Benefits Support Service, a national training programme for professionals and organisations including our award nominated (Chartered Institute of Housing/Inside Housing) psychological support groups.
We also have a presence via social media and contribute to the professional debate and to public understanding by means of free talks and seminars. We receive hundreds of referrals to our services from the NHS, public, private and voluntary sectors using our integrated model of support. We also hosted the first ever National Hoarding Conference, in May 2018.
We are managed by a Board of Trustees.
Our work, alongside others, has been instrumental in changing the perception of hoarding disorder.
What We Have Done
What We Do
For People With Hoarding Behaviour
- Informing people of their rights and responsibilities.
- Normalising hoarding as a behaviour.
- Providing tips and tricks to de-clutter and stop collecting.
- Acting in an advocacy role, working as a liaison.
- Working to reduce self and external stigma.
- Establishing support groups: Islington, East Ham (national group), Westminster (closed group), Carmarthen, Leicester (coming 2016).
- Delivering counselling in an integrative model, in order to treat underlying issues which are often ignored.
- Provide on-going support.
- Promoting ethically approved research projects.
- Ensuring information provided here and elsewhere is clinically evidenced.
For Families, Friends, etc.
- Breaking down barriers to them seeking professional support for themselves.
- Allowing a non-judgemental space for them to share their frustration, judgements and anger.
- Working to increase understanding, empathy and efficacy.
- Offering to work within the family dynamic in a way that can lessen pressure and tension e.g. work with everyone and don’t take sides.
- Provide on-going support.
- Advertising ethical awareness raising programmes.
- Working with production team in an effort to ensure that participants are not exploited.
- Interviews with other media and publishing articles.
Working with Professionals
- Informing them of their rights and responsibilities
- Working to slow down the process.
- Managing shock and overreaction.
- Encouraging contextual risk assessment.
- Exploring alternatives to evictions, blitz cleans, etc.
- Advocating for mental health, social and other relevant support.
- Discussing individual cases and not just generic information.
- Offering direct support to client and professional in an attempt to engender a functional relationship.
- Providing emotional support for workers who are typically torn by the situation.
- Deliver training.
- Provide follow-up support.