A charitable foundation has launched in Wiltshire to support vulnerable hoarders.
Fresh & Clean Beginnings was set up by cleaning company owner and hoarding expert Laura Dent, offering support to those whose lives are affected by unhygienic and potentially dangerous hoarding behaviour.
Laura has been running her commercial enterprise, So Fresh & So Clean, with her husband Neil for several years, working with businesses across Swindon and Wiltshire on commercial cleaning contracts.
Following training for biohazard and extreme cleaning in domestic and business environments, she realised there was a need to do more to help hoarders, particularly those with mental health issues.
Laura said, “This type of cleaning is expensive as it’s almost impossible to know what we are going to find when we remove the amount of clutter that a hoarder has accumulated.
“Some individuals and their families can afford expensive clear-outs but for others it’s not possible. Hoarding is more common than people realise and it is often caused by deep-seated issues. I constantly have people getting in touch for our services and asking for help but what holds them back is the cost.
“Often these individuals are in desperate circumstances. They might have a landlord waiting to evict them due to the state of the property, for example. My experience has taught me that some people need urgent help to prevent them from being made homeless and they can be stuck in a terrible situation.”
So Fresh & So Clean has channelled some of the company’s profits into the charitable foundation to offer support to those who need it.
The company, which is part of the Living Wage foundation, is proud of its healthy work life balance for its own team.
Laura added, “I know we can help anyone who suffers with a hoarding disorder or is in a mental health crisis.
“We will be working on setting up mental health collaborations too because if ongoing support isn’t provided, then these homes will end up in the same condition again.
“I want our business to be involved in something meaningful which can genuinely change lives. I’m determined to make this work locally and, later, perhaps roll it out across the UK.”
Pictured: Laura Dent