Duo create charity to transform Suffolk homes
- Credit: Julia Bostock / Dora Brown
A determined duo has come together to transform Suffolk homes for families in need.
Rebecca May Marston from Ipswich and Sasha Naylor from Woodbridge are co-creators of Dora Brown Homemaking, a charitable organisation with a positive army of volunteers which gives homes a total makeover for people who are struggling to cope.
“We're turning people’s homes around, and therefore turning their lives around,” explains Rebecca. “For everybody, our home is a reflection of us, where we’re at in our lives, and, frankly, our mental health.
“Once mess gets to a certain level, you can’t see your way out of it, and that goes for everyone. People just need a bit of help, because they don’t know where to start. So, we offer them a ‘reset.’”
This ‘reset’ includes a deep cleaning service, then decluttering, as many people struggle with throwing things away.
“We start with a skip clearance, and then, once we can see the wood for the trees, we start to work out who in the family needs what kinds of furniture,” Rebecca explains.
“For example, we’re working right now with a family in Ipswich. We're replacing the whole home’s worth of mattresses, we’ve got two wardrobes going in, dining room table and chairs, chests of drawers, a bookshelf, bedside units. We’re having a plumber over to fit a washing machine, too.”
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The furniture is sourced from their social media channels, putting out requests for the items they need.
“We also look at the self-care systems people have,” Rebecca continues. “We make sure there are cleaning products and towels in the bathroom. We get these donated to us from the hygiene bank in Woodbridge.
“We then support them until they are able to maintain it themselves. A couple of us will go back after two weeks, then after a month, just to check they’re coping and everyone’s pitching in.”
The impact having a pleasant home environment on people’s mental health is, Rebecca says, massive.
“Covid has highlighted just how important our homes are, as safe spaces where we can recharge our wellbeing.”
Households are referred to Dora Brown through Suffolk County Council or Ormiston Families.
To make a donation, please visit: www.dorabrown.com/donations