A hoarder was forced to wear nappies after nearly 30-tonnes of rubbish in her house blocked her accessing the bathroom.
Sylvie had 27-tonnes of rubbish removed from her York home where she had not let anyone enter for nearly two decades.
The hoarder had let the rubbish pile up to the extent her bathroom was blocked, which resulted in her having to use incontinence pads and nappies.
The excessive amount of rubbish had taken a toll on her mental and physical wellbeing, affecting her health, Yorkshire Live reports.
“I felt very embarrassed, it had got so bad. But I couldn’t see it from depression,” said Sylvie, who is in her 60s.
“The rooms were really bad from floor-to-ceiling you couldn’t get into the house really. I slept on top of the rubbish, I only had use of the bathroom if I clambered over the rubbish, and I had no kitchen as I couldn’t get to it. I didn’t have a sink, I couldn’t get to my fridge or my freezer.
"I just used to sit on the doorstep during the day.”
Sylvie was essentially living in a small space at the top of the stairs, surrounded by five to six feet of rubbish in all three bedrooms, as well as down the stairs, along the hall and in the kitchen.
Unable to access her fridge and freezer, Sylvie kept food in the hall and stairs, eating it without storing it properly .
Piles of hoarded items also filled the two downstairs living rooms.
Concerned neighbours, who noticed Sylvie never put her bin out for collection (she hadn't for more than ten years) and would sit on her front doorstep for hours, wanted to help.
After regular chats, Sylvie slowly started opening up to Craig and Sarah and told them about the state of her house and how she was feeling.
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She told them that she was suffering from depression, feeling worthless and hopeless, and that she had not let anyone into her home for years and years because she was embarrassed and ashamed of how bad it had become.
Eventually she let Craig inside with the hope that he might be able to help.
After a lot of phone calls to try and find the right support for Sylvie, Michaela Shaw at Community Bees was called.
“Michaela put me at ease straight away," said Sylvie.
"She didn’t judge, she smiled and was happy to look at my situation."
With the help of three neighbours and volunteers Michaela and Pauline, 27 tonnes of waste were removed from Sylvie's house over the course of one week.
During the clean-up, it became apparent that Sylvie's house had been flooded some years ago and there were bare floor boards throughout the house.
The boards were full of holes, created by the weight of the rubbish, allowing flies and vermin to get inside the house.
After a mammoth overhaul, which required the use of three large skips, Sylvie's house became a home again.
New floorboards are down, the bathroom, her bedroom and living space are all tidy and easily accessible and a new oven, kitchen sink and units have been installed.
“I cannot thank Michaela and Pauline enough, and they still come and see me and help me every week," said Sylvie.
"They don’t just come and see me, we chat, laugh and enjoy each other’s company, you can just give them a ring and they are there for you.
"There’s not enough words in this world to say how much they’ve helped me and if people are suffering like me, get in contact with Community Bees you’ll never regret it, you will not regret it at all."
Sylvie is now also looking after her mental wellbeing with the help of health professionals, keeping up with appointments and her medication.
Michaela of Community Bees said she was proud of how far Sylvie has come.
Addressing her directly, she said: "You have been so brave and I know a lot of tears have been shed, but good ones. You have come so far in the past four months turning your life around.
"It is so lovely to see you each week, telling me how you’re getting on and what you have achieved."
Sylvie has also visited a supermarket on her own for the first time in years and is now keeping on top of her housework.
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