New Partnership Launches to Help People with Hoarding Disorder

Date Released - 09/05/2023

A NEW partnership has been created to help people across Tameside who are affected by hoarding behaviour and to help raise awareness of the disorder.

Local housing provider Jigsaw Homes Group has joined forces with Tameside Adults Safeguarding Partnership Board (TASPB) Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and Ashton Pioneer Homes.

Together, they will be taking part in Hoarding Awareness Week (May 15 to 19) which aims to raise awareness of the disorder, dispel some of the myths around hoarding and provide effective support.

On Tuesday, May 16, from 10am until 4pm, the group will be hosting a stand in the wellbeing corner at Ashton Market Hall where people will be welcome to find out more about hoarding behaviour and how to get help if they, or someone they know, is affected by it.

Hoarding is now a recognised mental health disorder but, unlike other mental health issues such as anxiety or depression, it is often wrongly defined and stigmatised by what people have in their homes.

There are currently 45 cases of hoarding behaviour across Tameside and Jigsaw Homes’ hoarding specialist, Jayne Mee, is working with a number of them to help a number of those people access other vital support services. She also works with the group’s neighbourhood safety team and the fire and rescue service to share the message about potential fire risks to those who hoard.

Cllr John Taylor, Tameside Council’s executive member for adult services, said: “By working with our partners to promote Hoarding Awareness Week our aim is to help people understand that hoarding isn’t an eccentricity; it’s a recognised mental health condition.

“We want to increase awareness of what hoarding really is, bust some myths, promote greater understanding among the people and groups that can influence change, and provide support for people who have the condition.”

Jayne Mee added: “Hoarding is often seen as a bad habit, the result of laziness or a lifestyle choice, but it is none of these things. It is a psychological condition when someone cannot discard or part with their items without feeling extremely distressed.

“Because of the complexity of the disorder there are no quick fixes and we want others to see the person and not the ‘hoard’. Our main aim is to create and develop partnerships and work together as a team to support residents who are affected by hoarding.”

Tony Kiely, head of services at Ashton Pioneer Homes commented: “It is only by working in true partnership with other agencies that we will collectively raise awareness to find practical and deliverable solutions to help those Tameside residents suffering with a hoarding condition.”

In April, Jigsaw Homes launched the Tameside Hoarding Peer Support Group, which uses the ‘Hoarders Helping Hoarders’ successful model of providing effective support for people who exhibit hoarding behaviours.

The purpose of the group is to challenge, maintain and sustain positive change for residents affected by hoarding, for a long term difference.

If you have a hoarding disorder, or you know someone who does, you can get help by contacting Tameside Council on 0161 342 8355 or Jigsaw Homes Group (if you are a Jigsaw Homes resident) on 0300 011 1144.

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As part of Hoarding Awareness Week, a Greater Manchester hoarding conference is taking place on Friday, May 19, at Great Places housing group’s offices in Didsbury. To book a place contact Ian Porter