Jo Cooke is a Director of Hoarding Disorders UK CIC and also runs her own business Tapioca Tidy.
She is also the author of the book Understanding Hoarding which is fast becoming the “go to manual” for hoarders, their families and agencies that work with people exhibiting hoarding behaviours.
She has appeared in the Guardian newspaper, Cosmopolitan and other publications. She has also appeared a number of times on BBC Radio and BBC Sounds and on BBC Breakfast and ‘Inside Out’. Jo was selected as a finalist for the Thames Valley Venus Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.
Jo is a professional declutterer and organiser who has a very professional, calm, non-judgemental and “makes sense” approach to helping you reclaim your space. Jo previously had a varied career in charitable organisations, human resources, project management, bookkeeping and the civil service, but realised she had a flair for decluttering and organising when she had to sell the family home that her father had lived in for more than 30 years. She has a wealth of experience and skills required when working in cluttered environments and takes a responsible and empathetic approach to the needs of people she works with.
Jo co-facilitates three hoarding support groups in Bracknell, on the telephone and on-line.
Paul Cooper has been working with Hoarding Disorders UK CIC since 2016 and is based in Gloucestershire. He helps to deliver hoarding awareness training with Jo Cooke around the UK.
Previously he worked in sales and recruitment as well as 5 years in the Inclusion center of a secondary school. Paul featured in the BBC1 documentary with Jo and has written two books and featured in several others. Paul is also known for his character Martin Mucklowe in the BBC award winning comedy This Country. In his spare time, he is director of a children's charity, the National Children's Football Alliance.
Paul brings an abundance of patience, calm, and reassurance to his role within Hoarding Disorders UK CIC and also brings humour and empathy which are much needed in the world of clutter, chronic disorganisation and hoarding.
Carole Reed runs her own decluttering business, HappySort which is based close to Bristol and Bath. Carole first came across people with hoarding behaviours when she worked as a social worker in London.
Carole is unflappable and calm. Her work as a social worker (including two years in the palliative care team) and as a carer in a nursing home has meant that she has a wealth of experience around how individuals can be impacted by poor mental and physical health. Her more recent work with Age UK (still ongoing) means that she is familiar with the challenges that older people live with day to day and how hoarding adds an extra layer of complexity to this. The time spent working in both health and social care teams means that she has a good understanding of how to liaise with the different professionals and assist clients to navigate the services available.
Carole has a can do attitude and will work tirelessly to seek solutions to issues to ensure that the people that she works with have the best possible experience of working with her. She has stayed true to her social work training and the client is always at the centre of any decision making and planning.
Carole is a member of APDO, has three young (and very messy) children. In her spare time Carole tries to keep reasonably fit (but hates every minute).
Julieanne Steel runs her own business Unclutter Your Life and has been a declutter therapist and professional organiser since 2012. She is an accredited member of APDO and has appeared in The Times, Daily Mail, The Lady Magazine, along with featuring on radio podcasts and more recently an editorial piece for the supermarket giant Sainsbury.
Through Julieanne’s work with chronic disorganisation and hoarding behaviours, Julieanne undertook a post graduate qualification to train as an integrative counsellor and psychotherapist. This was an organic process to help uncover the root cause and mental health issues beneath her client’s struggles. She has worked within an NHS setting, residential care (Age UK) and privately. She is a registered member of the BACP. Over the course of the past 3 decades, Julieanne has been on her own personal development path, with a passionate interest in complimentary therapies, including Mindfulness, EFT, Reflexology and Feng shui. Julieanne has moved home numerous times, including several relocations and downsized in order to remove the financial strains of cluttered living.
Julieanne comes from a performing arts background. She was familiar with wearing a mask and getting into character for a role. This experience helped her to better understand what it feels like to be in another’s shoes. Julieanne is based in London and a mum to 3 daughters and a daschund, fully understanding the continuous demands of parenting and running a busy life. Julieanne offers a holistic, person centred approach to healing your home, heart and headspace.
Alana Gillen lives and works in Northern Ireland. Alana has joined the path of becoming a specialist cleaner and has been running her company Specialist Cleaning NI since 2012.
Alana works with individuals and families to overcome extreme living conditions, both privately as well has through NHS referrals. With a life time of experience, calm nature and an empathetic approach, she helps put clients at ease while working through issues surrounding hoarding disorders, overwhelming living conditions and self neglect situations. Alana hosts hoarding information talks for groups, including uniformed services and health care professionals.
As a single mum of teenagers she understands personally how easy a home can become disorganised and cluttered especially when mental health issues arise.
After picking up Jo's book 'Understanding Hoarding' in 2020 and attending HDUK's courses, Alana felt that Northern Ireland needed more information, support and guidance, she reached out to join the team in 2023.
Sarah is a director of Hoarding Disorders South CIC, together with Amber. They deliver support to those with chronic disorganisation and hoarding behaviours in Reading, Wokingham, West Berkshire and surrounding areas.
Sarah has a background in social work and has worked in various related professions, since qualifying in 1994. In these roles she has come across individuals with hoarding behaviour and appreciates the very many reasons that lead people to this position.
Until recently Sarah worked in a social prescribing team, where she stayed for 7 years. In this role she was able to focus on giving individuals time to consider what was important to them and signpost them to support and services to help. She is committed to giving individuals the space they need to consider and meet their goals whilst helping to motivate them; recognising that change isn’t easy. Having worked in different settings, she recognises the complexity of navigating the right care and support and so is able to assist with this.
Alongside her work in social prescribing, during the past 18 months, Sarah has also been working with a local authority to put together a protocol and pathway for working with individuals with hoarding behaviour. This work has highlighted that there is a real gap in provision for those who need individually planned, hands-on help and support. She has also realised that working with those who need this support is something she is really committed to; be it helping individuals with one off circumstances, putting together systems to create more order with day to day tasks, or working in more complex situations, over a longer term.
Sarah works in a way that is person centred, sensitive and good humoured and is always mindful of treating people as she would like to be treated herself.
Amber is a director of Hoarding Disorders South CIC and alongside Sarah, delivers support to those with chronic disorganisation and hoarding behaviours in Reading, Wokingham, West Berkshire and surrounding areas.
Following a degree in Psychology and several years spent working in residential health and social care, Amber trained as a Social Worker in London. Working in a children and families service, she supported families in challenging situations to access support and make positive changes.
Amber has spent the last seven years working in Social Prescribing, alongside Sarah, supporting individuals with their wellbeing, accessing support in the community and building social networks to overcome social isolation. With a particular interest in person centred approaches, Amber has undertaken qualifications in counselling.
Across these various roles Amber has visited many individuals and families in their homes and gained a deeper understanding of what can lead to challenging home environments, as well as an understanding of the way professionals and systems can work together to support people.
The need to work in an individually tailored, sensitive, person centred way is at the heart of the approach Amber and Sarah take, whilst retaining a sense of humour along the way!
Catherine Hamilton-Cooper lives in Northern Ireland and is the owner of Declutterbird, a decluttering business.
After spending more than two decades in various administrative roles, Catherine experienced a transformative period in her life marked by burnout. This pivotal moment prompted her to reassess her career path and seek a new direction aligned with her passions and values.
Recognising her interest in decluttering and supporting individuals with hoarding tendencies, Catherine underwent advanced hoarding training with HDUK in the early stages of her career transition. It quickly became evident to her that this was her true calling.
Driven by her passion, Catherine embarked on a journey of continuous learning and development, dedicating numerous hours to studying hoarding, chronic disorganization, and techniques for supporting neurodiverse individuals struggling with clutter in their homes.
Drawing from her personal experience of supporting a loved one with ASD and ADHD, Catherine brings empathy and understanding to her work. Her patient, caring, and empowering approach ensures that those she supports feel respected and in control throughout.
Acknowledging the real need within Northern Ireland for the support that HDUKNI can deliver, she was delighted to join the team at the start of 2024.
Sasha is the Executive Assistant for Hoarding Disorders UK CIC and provides administrative/marketing support.
When not working with the HDUK team, Sasha Clarke is an actress. Sasha has appeared in Holby City, Eastenders, Jack Ryan and has various other credits TV, theatre and short film credits. Last year Sasha filmed 'York Witches Society' by MSR Media and has worked with the Reading Rep Theatre in collaboration with A Girl Called Stephen on 'Safe' by Alexis Gregory and a rehearsed reading of 'Locker Room Talk' by Gary McNair.
Currently, while COVID-19 has put the arts on hold, Sasha is working as a Donor Care Supervisor within the NHS to support the Blood and Transplant department.
We are very grateful for the range of skills and expertise Sasha brings to the team.