They say that your home is your castle, but what is a castle when you have no one to share it with?
Some of us are lucky enough to have the opportunity to share a warm meal with friends, family, partner, siblings or children in the evening and/or share your stories of the day.
Unfortunately not everyone is quite so lucky, 51% of all people aged 75 and over live alone (ONS, 2010) and that can lead them to feel lonely and isolated.
On the other hand, with rents and house prices in the capital sky rocketing in recent years, young professionals and graduate students are having a hard time affording the living cost of London.
Because of this, Novus – The London Carers’ Centres Consortium, runs the scheme Homeshare and made it their mission to tackle loneliness by helping people help each other.
The Homeshare scheme is transforming the lives of two generations, the elderly generation in need of companionship and support at home and the young generation looking for affordable accommodation in London.
Homeshare matches elderly people (Householder) that need companionship and help around the house with young people (Homesharer) looking for accommodation and willing to help 10 hours a week to a Householder.
The scheme has been running for over a decade in the UK and has helped hundreds people from both generations during these years. Householders and Homesharers give a monthly contribution to the charity. As the scheme is self-funded, they need the monthly contributions of the people in the programme to be able to promote the scheme further, assess new people that want to be part of it and provide quality and constant support to the people already in the programme.
The monthly contribution represents only 25% of the cost they would incur if they had to pay for support at home or a regular rent in London.
Felicity and Bongi are a good example of the positive impact the Homeshare scheme has on people from both generations.
Felicity, a householder, says:
“It works really well for me as it means that I have the peace of mind that someone is in the house overnight. It also gives my family peace of mind as I have someone to help me with the tasks I find difficult to do. Bongi helps me with the cooking and some housework and it is great to have some younger company”.
But what does Bongi, the homesharer, think of the scheme?
“If it is the right match, I think the scheme works really well. It’s about finding the right balance and getting to know the other person, it takes over a month to bond and decide to continue with the programme, it is important to get into it with your eyes and heart open. It is great programme, but it is a 10 hours a week commitment at the same time.”
Felicity says that her family are very supportive of the programme describing Homeshare as “the ideal solution that helps people to remain in the home they love and at the same time get companionship and the live-in support they need”.
With rent and house prices in the capital sky rocketing in recent years, Homeshare is proving increasingly popular with those from various different professions and graduate students.
Homeshare ticks all the boxes – it is an ideal and affordable live-in support plan for older people and it works well for anyone needing that little bit of extra support or company in the home.
To find out more and to get involved please see the links below: