Since 2008, HoardingUK has been providing remote advocacy throughout the United Kingdom. We have worked with people affected, their relationships, neighbours and services to work towards positive outcomes.
Please contact us if you need support. Our team is supervised by Megan Karnes, who has worked providing specialist support for eleven years, and has worked as a Relevant Persons Representative (RPR), holds the National Advocacy Qualification (NAQ) as well as being qualified as an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA), Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA).
Megan also designed and delivered the Citizen Advocacy Training programme for VoiceAbility as well as managing a team of experts by experience at Loud & Clear Mental Health Advocacy.
Before the Care Act 2014 became law, people with problems resulting from hoarding behaviour seemed to have no rights. As such blitz cleans and evictions were common.
According to NHS Direct:
Advocacy services help people, particularly those who are most vulnerable in society, to:
- access information and services
- be involved in decisions about their lives
- explore choices and options
- defend and promote their rights and responsibilities
- speak out about issues that matter to them
An advocacy service is provided by an advocate who is independent of social services and the NHS, and who isn’t a part of your family or one of your friends.
An advocate’s role includes arguing your case when you need them to, and making sure the correct procedures are followed by your health and social care services.
Being independent means they are there to represent your wishes without giving their personal opinion and without representing the views of the NHS or the local authority.
An advocate might help you access information you need or go with you to meetings or interviews in a supportive role. You may want your advocate to write letters on your behalf, or speak for you in situations where you don’t feel able to speak for yourself.
Since the passage of the Care Act 2014, self-neglect, including hoarding, has been recognised as a potential safeguarding issue. Alongside this the eligibility outcomes for adults with care and support needs include being able to make use of the adults home safely and maintaining a habitable environment.
Carers too have rights to live in a safe and habital space.
Hoarding creates a unique situation in which the risk, nuisance and overall impact on others can often override the importance of supporting the person. This has not been effective historically, and in spite of many local authorities improving their engagement, still is far too common.
HoardingUK can work with you to get an advocacy referral. We’ll do that by working with local services in the first instance, or if that fails–make the referral ourselves.
We encourage people contact their local authority directly. Ask who the Care Act advocacy provider is and contact them to understand fully the support available.
If there is a gap in provision we have worked to fill that gap. If there are eligibility and other issues we provide remote advocacy support. This has successfully prevented blitz clean and evictions in most cases. Please note that getting in touch sooner versus later is advised. The earlier we can provide support the better the outcomes for both people with hoarding behaviour and those impacted by it, including professionals.