This week, Homeshare UK Merseyside and Homeshare UK North East are starting; bringing together people who want to live sociably and affordably. A person with a spare room will be matched with someone who is happy to chat and lend a hand around the house, in a new, safe alternative on a traditional way of life.
The news comes as the true scale of loneliness in the UK is becoming understood. Recently, central Liverpool ranked #1 of 32,844 neighbourhoods at risk of loneliness in England and in both Merseyside and the North East there is a distinct lack of preventative services that offer low-level daily living support for older people.
Homeshare enables older people to remain living in their own homes for longer and helps build community connections. Typically, an older person looking for practical support shares their home with someone looking for a good quality and affordable place to live. They benefit from around ten hours per week of support, such as cleaning, gardening, cooking, or providing companionship. It can work alongside traditional support, but no personal care is involved. There are no age restrictions for either person – people are matched based on safety checks, lifestyle interests and friendship.
Catherine Ambrose from Homeshare UK will be managing the two new programmes in Merseyside and the North East. Catherine says:
“At Homeshare UK we aim to make Homeshare accessible for everyone across the UK. By launching in these two areas, we are providing alternative living options, benefiting all involved.
“Students are looking for alternative accommodation whilst studying and in Newcastle alone there is a student population of approximately 42,000, many in need of accommodation; this is projected to grow year on year up to 2030.
We are offering more people the opportunity to live sociably and affordably whatever their age, with the right support structures in place to make it safe and enjoyable. In my previous roles I have seen many older people living alone, who, while not needing social care, would have benefitted from the security and companionship of living with someone in their own home.”