Suffolk homes transformed by the Dora Brown charity

Published:
19:00 16 February 2022



A determined duo have 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 charity with a positive army of volunteers that gives homes a total makeover for people struggling to cope.


Many people need a helping hand to regain control of their home, says Rebecca.
– Credit: Dora Brown

“We transform people’s homes, and therefore their lives,” explains Rebecca. “For everyone, our home is a reflection of us, where we are in our lives and, frankly, our mental health.

“Once the mess gets to a certain level, you can’t get out of it, and that goes for everyone. People just need a little help because they don’t know where to start. So we offer them a “reset”.


Having a nice home environment can make a huge difference to a person's mental health, says Rebecca.

Having a nice home environment can make a huge difference to a person’s mental health, says Rebecca.
– Credit: Dora Brown

This “reset” includes a deep cleaning service and then decluttering, as many people find it difficult to throw things away.

“We start with a dumpster clearance, and then, once we can see the wood for the trees, we start figuring out who in the family needs what kind of furniture,” says Rebecca.

“For example, we are currently working with a family in Ipswich. We replace the mattresses of the whole house, we have two wardrobes, a dining room table and chairs, chests of drawers, a bookcase, bedside tables. We also have a plumber to install a washing machine.


Dora Brown's team tries to help people adopt good healthy habits when it comes to keeping their homes clean.

Dora Brown’s team tries to help people adopt good healthy habits when it comes to keeping their homes clean.
– Credit: Dora Brown

Furniture comes from their social media channels, issuing requests for the items they need.

“We also look at the self-care systems that people have,” Rebecca continues. “We make sure there are cleaning products and towels in the bathroom. We get them from the Woodbridge Hygiene Bank.

“We then accompany them until they are able to maintain it themselves. A few of us will be going back after two weeks and then after a month, just to check that they’re doing and everyone is getting on with it.

The impact of a pleasant home environment on people’s mental health is, according to Rebecca, enormous.

“Covid has highlighted how important our homes are, as safe spaces where we can recharge our well-being.”

Households are referred to Dora Brown through Suffolk County Council or Ormiston Families.

To make a donation, go to: www.dorabrown.com/donations

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