It’s positive to see so many reports coming out of Government focusing on reducing loneliness and social isolation by bringing generations together and fostering the power of human connections.
Young or old, loneliness doesn’t discriminate’ said Jo Cox in her call for a national strategy to combat loneliness. It seems this is starting to infiltrate, and people are really taking notice of the positive effects on mental wellbeing and physical health of intergenerational friendships and the detrimental effects segregation of generations and social isolation are having on people at a personal level and on society as a whole.
The APPG on Social Integration just launched its ‘Healing the Generational Divide ‘ report which makes recommendations to bridge generational divides by bringing people of all ages and backgrounds together under four main policy areas – community projects and initiatives, public services, housing and planning, and technology. We were happy to contribute to the report and it is great to see investment into Homeshare is one recommendation in the report.
The Welsh Government has also commissioned a review into key mechanisms in intergenerational practices, and their effectiveness at reducing loneliness/social isolation. Again, this looks at a whole range of innovative services across the UK that are tacking the loneliness epidemic and bringing generations together. It also includes Homeshare as a case study and a recommendation to start rolling it out in Wales as well as initiatives like Good Gym and the Cares family which bring young and old together through social activities.
We know that Homeshare is bridging the gap between generations and helping both young and old to live healthy and happier lives in safe and sociable homes. Both meeting the basic needs of being safe and supported in an affordable home but bringing in so many more benefits to both householders and sharers such as genuine friendships, being part of the wider network of each others family and friends, learning new skills, exploring the local area, getting online, trying new cuisines and just spending quality time with together.
While we are growing in interest and numbers in the UK, Homeshare still remains small scale compared to Homeshare across the globe. We know that in countries across Europe, Homesharing is becoming a mainstream choice for housing for both young and old and this is because governments have invested and supported the model. We look forward to seeing how this top level thinking and the recommendations come to fruition in the UK and hope that it will see more people becoming aware of and benefitting from Homeshare.