Charity digs to root cause of Hoarding

27th February 2018

Your Living Room CIC, a not-for-profit decluttering service in Essex, has been awarded a grant of £8,969 to expand their work and support people suffering from Hoarding Disorder.

This cash injection comes from the Yellow Car Charitable Fund, which is managed by the independent grantmaking trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

Pathological or compulsive hoarding is excessively collecting and failing to throw out a large number of items that would appear, to most, to hold little or no value to the point it impedes day-to-day life.

This severe cluttering builds until a home is no longer a viable place to live, can cause extreme isolation and become a danger to life. Around five percent of the UK population is affected by Hoarding Disorder and since it was recognised as a mental health condition in 2013, awareness has increased.

The decluttering service was set up in 2015 and helps clients to find the root cause of their obsessive collecting, improve well-being and re-engage them with the local community.

This funding boost will enable Your Living Room CIC to create a bespoke database, further developing the service it offers. The technology will analyse clients’ needs, track their progress and help the team ensure that support is in place for sustainable life improvements.

Your Living Room co-director Diane Boyd said: “We are very grateful to Essex Community Foundation for supporting us. We receive hundreds of referrals every year and this database will help us to track, monitor and deliver a service which will have a positive, long-lasting impact on our clients. It will also provide a vast menu of data such as demographics and support needs, as well as improving multi-agency working and delivering a saving to the public purse in the longer term.”

One person whose life has been transformed for the better thanks to this service, is Sarah White. Sarah is 50 years-old and has suffered a number of traumatic incidents in her life including domestic abuse and a violent burglary. Following changes to her circumstances, she moved to a two bedroom flat with the contents of a three-bedroom house.

Her new home was immediately over cramped and without family or friends living nearby, Sarah felt alienated. This cluttering continued to grow, until it become so severe that some rooms could no longer be entered.

Sarah knew of Your Living Room CIC and contacted them for help. The service cleared the flat, selling what they could on her behalf and donating the rest. Throughout the clean-up, Sarah was emotionally supported by the team and having now moved, which would have been impossible before, reports she is “very happy and feels more positive”.

If you are a charity or voluntary organisation in need of funding to support your work in Essex, call ECF now on 01245 356018.

For more information about Your Living Room CIC visit: