Groundbreaking LGBT+ Hoarding Support Group to Launch Gay History Month February 2020!

HoardingUK, the only UK-wide charity solely dedicated to supporting people impacted by hoarding behaviour and ELOP, LGBT Mental Health and Wellbeing Charity, have joined forces to provide a safe and destigmatised space for LGBT+ people experiencing the distress and overwhelm of hoarding behaviour.

If you are LGBT+, hoarding and living in Greater London you may be eligible to participate in the free LGBT+ support group which will be commencing 27th February 2020 and has been funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

Professionals participating in the programme will receive free monthly training for six months.

Currently both the professional and the person with hoarding behaviour need to agree to attend.

HoardingUK’s aim is to empower individuals experiencing hoarding behaviours to achieve spatial and personal change, to reduce isolation and improve their health and wellbeing. HUK is a multi-service organisation, helping thousands of people each year through a National Helpline, Advocacy, In-Home Support, Training and award nominated Support Groups development programme.

Like many before them – such as women, BME and the LGBT+ community – people who hoard are not currently counted.  Only 6% of local authorities have a simple box indicating hoarding behaviour in their databases. This discriminatory practice means that providing support is not managed in a systemic and person-centred way and  instead haphazard interventions take place every day across the UK. For twelve years, HoardingUK has been promoting choice and control, improving safety/habitability and increasing wellbeing.

In 2020 ELOP will be celebrating 25 years of providing a diverse range of support services; including social, emotional, psychological and mental health support to LGBT+ communities. ELOP was established as grassroots developed and community-led organisation with the aim to promote and enhance the mental health, wellbeing, safety, empowerment and equality  of LGBT+ communities by providing dedicated information, advice, counselling and support services, mental health crisis prevention, youth & young adults projects; asylum & hate crime support, and other social and community activities, groups and events, plus dedicated LGBT awareness raising training and workshops to generic service providers.

Megan Karnes, Founder and Director of HoardingUK, said:

“When the funding came through, I reached out to ELOP.  Having worked together for a decade, we share a commitment to equality and inclusion. These values drive both our work so joining forces seemed a natural fit.”

Teresa Sharpe, CEO of ELOP, commented on how essential such combined support is needed within the LGBT+ community:

“Hoarding amongst our communities is often hidden as an undisclosed and undiscussed concern which further marginalises and isolates many of us already facing ostracisation, rejection, hostility, plus negative impact and reaction regarding our sexual orientation and/ or gender identities. A life history of exclusion is often the reality for people who hoard.”

When the pile of shame and blame is topped with sexuality, gender/gender identity judgments and stigma, a person may feel there is no place where they can find support. HoardingUK and ELOP will be making history in LGBT+ History month by bringing together diverse people, creating acceptance by providing a safe space for participation and positive change.

Applications are now open to all LGBT+ community members who hoard and are receiving support from statutory services. Applications can be made by either the person who hoards or the professional who is supporting them.

Spaces will be limited to 15 so please apply early. Initial meetings with applicants will commence in 2020.

For more information go to: https://www.hoardinguk.org/lgbt-support-group/

Contact: supportgroup@hoardinguk.org for any queries.

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