In a first for a UK housing association, we've appointed 2 volunteers to work with our Homeless Prevention team supporting customers facing hoarding issues at home.
Volunteer qualified counsellors Faye Wheeler and Emma Topliss, both from Basingstoke, are working with customers who are hoarders or potential hoarders, very often caused by mental trauma. They're work alongside our highly experienced tenancy support and neighbourhood teams.
In doing so, their voluntary work will help build up and sustain the 100 hours’ counselling experience required as part of their counselling qualifications. They're supervised by Homeless Prevention Team Leaders Jo Proctor (herself an accredited counsellor, and psychotherapist with over 5 years’ experience) and Pat Wilce, who’ll be managing them day to day.
Jo said: “Faye and Emma spend a day a week with us on the ground with our teams building invaluable relationships with customers that allow us to support them in beating the anguish and stress that leads to hoarding.
“The feedback so far from both our staff and impact on our customers has been outstanding. It’s so important to identify and support customers showing signs of hoarding as early as possible, often because these are indicators of more deep-seated mental health issues as well as creating poor living conditions and physical health risks.”
Faye said: “I feel privileged and honoured to be a part of the customers’ lives and journeys. To help them move forward and make positive changes is incredible. Also, to be given the opportunity to work with VIVID as an innovative and forward-thinking housing association, is fantastic.”
Our Head of Neighbourhoods Derek Streek said: “Having counsellors as part of our frontline support to tenants with particular needs is clearly making a big difference to supporting customer wellbeing at home. The quality of the contribution for our customers and the real-life situations faced makes it a “win-win-win” for us, customers and counsellors.”
It’s so important to identify and support customers showing signs of hoarding as early as possible