Tidy Homes Tidy Minds, a Southway service helping people across the North West deal with clutter, hoarding, and the debilitating mental health condition at the root of it, is shortlisted for Support/Advice Programme of the Year in the Northern Housing Awards.
Delivered by the Tenancy Support team, the scheme provides holistic support and services for people, properties and organisations affected by hoarding.
Hoarding is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value. The behaviour usually has deleterious effects - emotional, physical, social, financial, and even legal - for a hoarder and their family members.
Though still often stigmatised, since 2018 Hoarding Disorder has been defined a standalone Mental Health condition by the World Health Organisation. 2-6% of UK households hoard, but potentially only 5% of hoarders come to the attention of professional services (Hoarding UK[i]).
Recognising this need, Tidy Homes Tidy Minds equips people who hoard with the skills and coping techniques to maintain their homes in the future, whilst working alongside them to ensure they have better and safer living environments for the present.
The scheme works in a trauma-informed way, looking at the causes of the behaviour and not the presenting symptoms, and this puts the individual at the centre of their recovery, allowing them to make real, long-term changes in their lives.
The one to one support is available not just to Southway tenants but to other housing trust tenants, renters, and homeowners – anyone who needs its help.
Lynsey Grundy and Lorna Rattray, the team delivering the service, said:
“Hoarding and its causes are complex, and so our work centres around building trust and forming relationships to find the trigger to the hoarding issue. This approach has helped us expand the service from its launch in 2015 to helping hundreds of people today.
As well as providing the 1 to 1 support service, we lead on intervention in Manchester delivering training and consultancy to other agencies. Twice monthly, we also run a free hoarding peer support group (currently online) were we’re joined by people all over the world who find that they are not alone with this stigmatised, debilitating condition.
Anyone can join these sessions, and as well as allowing us to reach more people, we have found that it encourages people involved to give peer support even between sessions.
"A key aim of Tidy Homes Tidy Minds is to help break down the stigma and perceived causes for hoarding. So talking about this with people and getting the word out all helps.”Lynsey Grundy
As this is an innovative project, we have been invited to talk about hoarding on a number of platforms and radio stations. We are really pleased to have been recognised again by these awards. A key aim of Tidy Homes Tidy Minds is to help break down the stigma and perceived causes for hoarding. So talking about this with people and getting the word out all helps!”
Tidy Homes Tidy Minds is shortlisted for Support/Advice Programme of the Year in the Northern Housing Awards. Winners are announced on 13th May with a virtual awards ceremony on 1st June.
You can find out more about the service, and read case studies of people who have been supported, at https://www.southwayhousing.co.uk/hoarding. You can join the peer support group at https://www.facebook.com/tidyhomestidyminds.