Funding boost for charity that helps hoarders

13 June 2018

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A charity which offers help to compulsive hoarders and help get their lives back on track has received funding from Nottinghamshire County Council.

The county council’s Local Improvement Scheme has awarded £10,000 a year for the next three years to Jigsaw Support Scheme which supports people who have difficulties with hoarding in their home.

The project, based in CAB Regent Street in Mansfield, aims to provide support to hoarders by building their self-esteem to help them reach their goals to achieve and maintain clearance of their properties and to provide them with health and social care links, financial advice, and access counselling and befriending services.

Co-ordinator of the project Alison Waring said: “1.5 to 6 per cent of the population is affected by hoarding in some way and not only affects the hoarder but has a huge impact on their immediate family, friends and neighbours. The idea to set up this project came from partnership working with colleagues at Nottinghamshire County Council, when we identified that hoarders for example, can find themselves living in tents and unable to access their homes.

“Hoarding is a way of life for some and is an addiction. This funding from Nottinghamshire County Council’s Local Improvement Scheme is essential to ensure we can continue the vital work we do in the community with local people affected by this.”

People who need help to clear their properties in Mansfield and Ashfield are referred to Jigsaw by a range of services including Councils across the district, Occupational Therapists, Social Workers, Fire and Police Services.

Alison says that there are a wide range of hoarders who need help with their addiction, she has attended houses that are verminous and with no access at all due to their hoarding addiction. She has worked with food hoarders, paper collectors, toiletries, general waste, clothes and shoes. A lot of people due to ill health just can’t manage, clean and dispose of things themselves and are very lonely and isolated.

Councillor Gordon Wheeler, Vice-Chairman of the Communities and Place Committee, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “We are very pleased that we have been able to support such a worthwhile project. Jigsaw really does change lives and helps people to live with their hoarding addiction while improving their living environment.”

Councillor Joyce Bosnjak, from Nottinghamshire County Council, who supported the application for funding, said: “Jigsaw is well known locally for the tremendous work it does to transform people’s lives. I supported the application for funding for the charity so that it could continue with its excellent work in the local community.”

Dean, from Selston, has been helped by Jigsaw to address hoarding. He said: “My parents had passed away so I was living at home with my dog Tuppence on my own and suffered a stroke. I had nobody in the world. I came out of hospital and I just couldn’t cope or keep my property tidy. My hoarding addiction became worse and many rooms in my house were unusable. I couldn’t access my bed and I was sleeping on a mattress on the floor. I was under the threat of eviction. It was an extremely worrying and bad time in my life and could see no end to it.

“Jigsaw was my lifeline and since I have been working with them we have removed two skips full of rubbish with the help of Ashfield District Council and I am starting to feel more positive about life again. Jigsaw have helped with supporting me as a person, referred me to other agencies for benefit advice, fetching me food parcels from a local Food Bank and taking me to a Christmas Day meal as well as making inroads into clearing my property.”

Jigsaw have recently become a regular member of the Ashfield Hoarders Panel which has been running as a multi-agency panel for over five years focussing on hoarders and the complexities which surround them. The panel focuses on a commitment by organisations who have engaged with the panel to be involved where necessary and to work collectively. Coordinating a joint approach to dealing with cases where residents hoard, with a view to assisting the vulnerable occupant/s and to provide all assistance available across agencies to improve conditions and health outcomes for the occupant/s. The panel also highlights best practice over the county and encourages other agencies to engage in areas to have trials on multi-agency working through Hoarders panels. The panel are pleased that Jigsaw have received further funding and that they are fully engaged in the Ashfield Area.

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