This case study is courtesy of Sustainability West Midlands.
Award: Business in the Community West Midlands START Award 2011 – Most Innovative New Product or Service.
Organisation: CloudsEnd CIC is a community interest group set up in 2010 to help individuals, social services, housing associations and landlords to tackle hoarding situations.
Background: CloudsEnd CIC helps hoarders with their at home hoarding problems. At present hoarding problems can lead to social isolation, ill health, eviction, family break ups, and energy waste – all at vast expense to the community.
CloudsEnd’s pioneering approach offers a simple, cheaper and compassionate way of dealing with hoarding issues. CloudsEnd also trains professionals who might encounter hoarders such as tenancy support officers.
The project first had to find funding as this was a new service not yet recognised by local authorities. Funding was secured through Be Birmingham, a funding arm of Birmingham City Council.
The project’s aims are to:
Activities: The De-Clutter Bus Project has helped 13 participants reduce their use of wasted energy by clearing rooms which allows radiators to function correctly, boilers to be reached and controlled, broken windows repaired, freezers to be defrosted and cleared.
It has raised awareness about hoarding and about recycling and disposal of excess belongings. As well as helping hoarders to dispose of excess possessions, CloudsEnd also helps hoarders to challenge their acquisitive habits.
Results: The De-Clutter Bus Project has made a huge impact in a short space of time. Councils and housing associations from across the country have contacted CloudsEnd and the training programme has already been taken up by two councils.
Lessons: This is a new service not yet recognised by all local authorities. Sheffield University, who are acknowledged as world experts in this field, believe that this is the first project of its kind in the country – and possibly the world.
Sustainability West Midlands comment: CloudsEnd recognised there was a need to address this problem and are pioneers in this area of work. Considering that an estimated 2% of the population are hoarders, CloudsEnd’s innovative approach could have an environmental benefit multiplied many times across the West Midlands.
SDRN comment: This is an innovative initiative to deal constructively with a problem that is commonly left untreated.
Contact: More information visit the CloudsEnd website. This case study is one of the Regional Award Winners on the Sustainability West Midlands website.