Compulsive hoarding is a recognised mental health disorder and is marked by an obsessive need to acquire and keep things, even if the items are worthless, hazardous or unsanitary. There can be many triggers for why someone starts hoarding, including living in poverty for a period of time, grief, loss of a partner or breakdown of a relationship. People who are affected by hoarding have an emotional attachment to the things they keep, this is extremely difficult for children and other family members to understand and live with.
Verena Hutcheson, Homelessness and Housing Pathways Manager at Reading Borough Council says:
“A number of people who hoard put their homes at risk because it can affect the fabric of the property. The response from the landlord can lead to notice and then eviction. We have some people in our social housing, supported accommodation and hostels who hoard and this can contribute to the cyclical nature of their rough sleeping and homelessness. Supporting people who hoard means that this is a group of people that we can prevent homelessness for”.
Hoarding Disorder’s UK offers expert advice and practical support for people affected by a hoarding disorder. They help and support people who are affected not only by hoarding and clutter but also chronic disorganisation. They provide practical hands-on help within people’s homes and offer a person-centred approach to each individual. They understand that hoarding is a very complex issue, and each case is unique.
The community interest group is introducing a free support and advice group to anyone affected by hoarding, or anyone who knows someone who hoards, including friends, family and advocates. The group is non-judgmental, confidential and supportive, giving advice and practical solutions. The support group is being launched in October 2019 and will be held on the last Tuesday of each month from 7pm to 9pm at Launchpad’s offices – Ajilon House, 28 Friar Street, Reading, RG1 1DP (very close to Reading train station).
Please visit Hoarding Disorder’s UK for further details and confirmed dates until the end of 2020. The charity also offers support groups in Bracknell and Newbury, details of which can also be found on their website.
You do not have to live locally to attend any of the groups, and there is no need to book, but if you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07950 364 798.