Changing lives in 2024 amidst growing demand for hoarding support in York

In the City of York, Community Bees CIC is making a huge difference to people dealing with hoarding issues.

This local community interest company is taking a compassionate approach to address the root causes of hoarding, providing vital and unique support for those affected.

Community Bees CIC understands that hoarding is more than just physical clutter; it is a complex mental health disorder. Having been actively involved in supporting individuals with hoarding disorder in York since 2019, manager and founder Michaela Shaw, tailors’ interventions to address the unique needs of each person, recognising the emotional struggles that accompany hoarding. Solving this issue is not just about removing items from someone’s home, it’s about supporting them to make changes and feel hope for the future.

A living room, with dark wallpaper, a fire place with hoarded materials on the floor and on chairs.

A recent client’s home after a house fire. Community Bees CIC is helping him to clear his house so he can move home again.

Michaela’s unwavering commitment to giving a voice to those who feel “lost” is at the heart of Community Bees’ work, epitomised by her mantra: “to make a difference” to those society may otherwise forget.

A really important part of Community Bees CIC work lies in building a sense of community among people who’ve suffered with hoarding. Through support groups our clients find a non-judgmental space to share their experiences, breaking the isolation that often accompanies hoarding.

Referrals to Community Bees CIC are busier than ever, indicating a growing demand for hoarding support services. Alongside an increased demand for help, Community Bees has also noticed an alarming increase in hoarding-related fires in the city. Through collaboration with the local NHS, housing agencies and authorities, Community Bees wants to create a home environment for people that is not only safe, but a nice place to live.

We need support more than ever to help people in need. If you able to support us, please head to our GoFundMe page.

Manager and founder, Michaela Shaw, is passionate about dispelling the myths and stigma around hoarding and arranges outreach and educational events to encourage early intervention and support. In recent months, Michaela has had to opportunity to shine a light on this rising issue, through appearances on ITV Calendar and the BBC.