Advocacy Volunteer: Anna
How did you first hear about HoardingUK and what inspired you to get involved?
I first heard of HoardingUK through the internet, as I was looking to volunteer my time and learn more about the impacts of Hoarding behaviour.
What is your day-to-day when volunteering with us?
As an advocate, I help people understand their rights, communicate their wishes and offer a safe space for them to be heard and supported. Most often, I help participants engage with housing, social care and environmental health teams, ensuring they are treated fairly and get the support they need.
Maintaining confidentiality, of course, are there any cases that have really stuck in your mind?
Every case is different which makes it so interesting. I guess one that stood out is helping a lady in sheltered accommodation move when she was living in a hoarded home. There were so many stakeholders involved and different challenges so to get a positive result was so rewarding.
What are the sorts of challenges you’ve faced?
At times it has been frustrating, working with large teams within the council who work slowly and don’t understand the complexities of hoarding behaviour and the impact it has on a person’s life. But everyone is keen to learn which really helps!
How has volunteering helped you?
It’s been both challenging and deeply rewarding. It’s shown me how unfairly people can be treated, and how misunderstood hoarding behaviour really is. I’ve been able to work on my counselling skills, and met lots of different people from different walks of life.
What would you say to someone thinking about volunteering with HoardingUK?
You’ll learn a lot from the experience, no day is the same! It feels really rewarding to help people and get new perspectives.
Feel you would like to volunteer, have a look at our opportunities