There are 23 homeshare programmes across the UK. Homeshare UK is the national network, run under the auspices of Shared Lives Plus. It:
- maintains an up-to-date list of programmes
- provides day-to-day operation support for programmes
- brings the network together regularly to share learning and develop good practice and
- publishes an annual review of the sector – see the latest Homeshare UK Executive Summary 2017
- provides a regularly updated good practice guide for programmes supporting safe and effective delivery of services.
Many of the documents are available to members only but those in the public domain are included in our resources section, including all the annual sector reports.
Homeshare in the UK has benefited from a £2 million grant in 2015 from the Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales and the Big Lottery Fund – read more below.
About homesharing in the UK
Homeshare was originally set up to support older people who wanted to remain independent in their own homes. Homeshare programmes are offered by a range of different organisations, most of which are non-profit but all aim to be self-sustaining and make a charge to both the householders and homesharers to cover their costs. Householders are typically in their 80s, though the ages range from 60 to well over 90. Some of these older people have other helpers or carers, paid or informal, and for some, homesharing is part of a package of support.
Homesharers generally have to be at least 18 years old. Some are mature students but many are working. For them, homesharing offers low-cost accommodation in expensive cities like London.
The programmes are run by paid staff who are responsible for finding and screening potential householders and homesharers and carefully matching them.
A big boost for homesharing in the UK
Since 2015 the Lloyds Bank Foundation and the Big Lottery Fund have invested £2 million in the development of homesharing in the UK – the biggest-ever financial boost. Working with a number of charity and agency partners they have supported homesharing to be considered as a viable housing solution to the parallel problems of a lack of affordable housing and an ageing population. Partners include Shared Lives Plus, Age UK, The Foyer Federation and the Social Care Institute for Excellence.
The Homeshare Partner Programme funded a range of pilot projects with new and existing homesharing programmes. It aims to answer key questions about how homeshare programmes can: work best, be scaled up across larger geographical areas, and support participation from more diverse groups including older couples, adults with learning disability, carers and young people leaving the care system.
The monitoring and evaluation of the programmes, managed by the Social Care Institute for Excellence, will highlight both the successes and learning points of the pilot programmes to help inform future developments and will be available in spring 2018.
The programme will establish best practice guidelines and create an industry Quality Assurance Framework for individual programmes to aspire to.
A new UK programme is launched
Inter Generations Worcester was launched in spring 2017 bringing the UK total to 23 programmes. The new programme is being run by the University of Worcester in association with Vestia Community Trust and Worcestershire County Council and is based on the model of Esdes InterGénérations, Lyon (www.esdes-intergenerations.net). To date, they have facilitated three matches and produced three short videos outlining the benefits of homesharing (www.vestia.org.uk/intergen/video.php).
Our Director, Elizabeth Mills spoke at the launch about homesharing around the world.
Follow us on Facebook
How to donate
Homeshare International is a charity and is entirely dependent on donations to continue its work. Please use the “Donate” button below to make a secure donation.
UK taxpayers can increase the value of their gift by 20% under the Gift Aid scheme – click here to download a form to print, complete and return