Hoarding UK is a UK-wide charity dedicated to supporting people who hoard. It ran a successful UK National Hoarding Roadshow in 2018, and is launching the next ones in Wales and Scotland later this year.
While that’s a bit too far away for some of us, we thought it would be interesting to discover the goals behind these important opportunities for sharing ideas.
Where Hoarding UK Comes From & Where it is Going
The charity wants to empower hoarders to change their lifestyles to improve their wellbeing and health. It also hopes to better professional standards and increase public awareness.
It was established in 2008 after a mental health professional managing another charity realized hoarding was not an accepted mental health issue. She set out to change this and her efforts have born the following fruit:
# Hoarding UK helps thousands of people through various channels
# These touch points include information packs and in-home support
# The charity helps individuals apply for, and obtain benefits
# It also trains allied professionals and their related organizations
# Finally, Hoarding UK facilitates psychological support groups
Their Hoarding Roadshows are an integral part of their effort to improve public understanding, including via social media, seminars and free talks. They say their work has, alongside others “been instrumental in changing the perception of hoarding disorder”.
Important Research is Ongoing on the Platform
Hoarding UK works with academics to push the frontiers of knowledge outward regarding compulsive hoarding. Current projects based on inputs from hoarders include:
# Behind-the-scenes experiences when participating in television programs about hoarding, etc.
# The social dynamics and benefits of participating in support groups promoting health and well-being
# The psychological factors that influence hoarding disorder and relate to uncertainty, distress and anxiety
# Response-inhibition training to help hoarders stop themselves from buying and collecting things
How the Clutter Image Rating Contributes to Understanding Hoarding
Charity Hoarding UK uses the clutter image rating to objectively determine where a particular person is on the hoarding scale, and what if any action needs to be taken. This is an objective workaround to the problem that people have very different ideas about what it means to have a cluttered home.
Some people, parents for example may regard a pile of dirty laundry in the corner of an adolescent’s room as clutter. While at other the end of the spectrum a serial hoarder may see no problem with blocking their windows with junk
With the clutter image rating, the subject chooses one image from a standardised set, that they think is closest to their lifestyle. This takes subjectivity out of the equation particularly as it applies to family members.
Hoarding UK is making a significant, almost unique contribution to unravelling the mystery of hoarding. And approaching it objectively in order to help compulsive hoarders live successfully with their condition as should be everybody’s goal.