About the group
Hoarding support groups have proved successful in helping those with hoarding behaviour, as well as family and friends, know that they are not alone, and that support is available.
The Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Hoarding Support Group has been running for around four years. Initially the sessions were held locally however, due to the need for social distancing during the Covid pandemic, we moved to group sessions by telephone and were able to keep the support running.
As a result, we are now able to expand on the number of group sessions provided. We are also able to open the group to anyone who may have liked to join previously but were located further afield or would have had difficulty travelling to the venue.
Who should join the sessions
The aim of this group is to bring people together who have experienced or are experiencing hoarding issues. This could be those with hoarding issues themselves, or friends, partners, or family of those currently experiencing hoarding.
Within a safe, caring, and supportive environment group participants are invited to share experiences and to offer encouragement to others.
You do not need to have a clinical diagnosis, or have a GP referral, to join these meetings. If you feel you are not coping with managing to maintain your home the way you would like, and this is causing you distress or concern, this group is for you.
Karen Lock, our Domestic Fire Safety Officer, facilitates the group. Karen is a trained counsellor with previous experience as an Advocate facilitating peer support groups.
What to expect
- Introduction and some basic house rules.
- An understanding as to why people might exhibit hoarding behaviour.
- What has brought you to the group?
- A discussion about how the group can develop to support its members.
(For instance: we have previously invited guest speakers to a session, such as Paul Salkovskis Professor of Clinical Psychology Director of Oxford Institute of clinical psychology training and research, Jo Cooke from Hoarding Disorders UK – we have also had Mind along to provide a mindfulness session, explaining how to practice it and how it can help with mental health problems).
- Sharing our respective journeys (optional).
- What helps and maybe does not help in our journey of recovery.
- Exploring our beliefs and behaviours.
Meeting dates currently scheduled are:
Please note: All meetings are virtual. They begin at 5pm, and end at 6pm.
How to join a Hoarding Support Group session or ask for further information
Contact Karen Lock, Hoarding Support facilitator by:
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Or phone on 07803 182549 (leave a message on her answerphone)
Please provide your name, contact number and enquiry and she will get back to you as soon as possible.
If you decide to join a group telephone session, you will be asked to confirm by 1pm the day of the meeting and a telephone number will be sent to you, so that you can call at the time of the session.
These meetings are NOT video calls. They are a link up call so you can hear and talk to Karen and the others who join up by phone, which means that you can speak in privacy.
Sessions start at 5pm and last one hour.
Safeguarding simply means to protect people’s health, wellbeing and human rights and enable them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect.
Although the support group offers a confidential environment to discuss hoarding, if the facilitator feels that something has been disclosed that is cause for concern to either the person present, or someone else, then they have a Safeguarding duty under the Care Act 2014 to report this matter to the most relevant Safeguarding service.
While everyone is free to join the group whenever they wish, it would be useful for us to gain a better understanding of where people are from and how they heard about the group.
As we are linking up on the phone, we will collect this information when you enquire about joining the group. If you wish to, you will be invited to provide us with details such as full name, address, telephone number and how you heard about the group.
In accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations 2018, no information will be shared that identifies any individuals. Information will only be used to help us ensure the group is reaching the right people in the right way.
Referring someone to the group
Please feel free to invite friends, family and/or carer’s along to the group.
All we ask is that they have a personal connection to hoarding.
We have capacity for approximately 10 people on the group call sessions, however if we look like we are getting close to this number we will let you know.
Depending on demand, we are willing to put on extra sessions to accommodate numbers.
Finally, we are keen for this support group to be shaped by what the participants wish to get out of it. We look to participants to tell us what type of support they would like and when.
So, if you have a comment or suggestion to make, please do so.
After each group session:
- The facilitators meet to review the meeting.
- Evaluation forms are available and offered to attendees.
- Members of the Group are also encouraged to offer feedback by telephone and email as and when they feel appropriate.
- The facilitators continually seek to update their knowledge of hoarding behaviour and are aware of what local support is available.
We have a range of resources to support group members, which can be emailed out on request.
- Clutter image rating score card.
- Hoarder Support Services information sheet.
- Icebreaker form – which can be completed and presented to a professional when requesting help.
- Royal Mail Opt-out of junk mail form.
- Scam Marshall sign up leaflet (Trading Standards will take unsolicited named scam mail and tackle perpetrators).
- Information sheets on local charity donation shops and centres.
- Fire Service Home Fire Safety Visit request form.
- Hoarding tracker and checklist.
- Charity shops.
- Organising tips and advice.
Please contact Karen if you would like to receive any of this information or would like to talk more about Hoarding.