Some of the Homeshare UK team look back on the past year of growth, change and opportunities in the Homeshare sector.

Debs Fox, Head of Homeshare UK

“I’m excited to be part of the Homeshare UK team, driving forward our ambitious five-year growth strategy that will bring locally based and owned Homeshare programmes to many new key towns and cities. Our in-house programmes; Homeshare UK North East and Homeshare UK Merseyside launched in July and in conjunction with the development of our Homeshare UK Social Franchise model we are aiming to work with socially-minded individuals, community and voluntary organisations as well as existing social care providers to establish 40 new Homeshare programmes in locations currently not serviced across the whole of the UK bringing Homeshare to many more thousands of people in the coming years.”

Jo Mountfort, Homeshare UK Network Support & Development Officer

“Having a UK-wide network for Homeshare organisations means that we have collective power and a collective voice. By creating a space where we can share and support each other, we are strengthening and supporting each other in all areas of our work. We are excited about continuing to develop and build this network of brilliant programmes that will provide much-needed Homeshare services across the UK.”

Emily Cutter, Homeshare UK North East Coordinator

“We’ve had some incredible feedback around Homeshare and how beneficial the model could be. The North East is geographically very diverse; we have expensive inner city living, universities and teaching hospitals only a few miles away from very rural countryside. Homeshare brings opportunities for intergenerational living which could hugely benefit students, young professionals and older people living alone. Homeshare brings people together to share their homes, lives, skills and experiences.”

Mel Withington, Homeshare UK Merseyside Coordinator

“It has been really exciting bringing Homeshare to Merseyside. I’ve been able to meet with so many great charities, professionals and local people who have all given me a great scouse welcome and embraced the idea of Homeshare into the community. It is very early days but we have already had enquiries from 3 people wanting to open their door to a Homesharer because they want companionship and someone to share their day to day life with whilst giving someone a lovely place to call home. I can’t wait to find the right matches for these people and to see the positive effects it will have on their lives.”

John Wilberforce, Social Franchise Manager

“My aims for Homeshare started with 2 key facts – and both are linked to Companionship. Firstly, I had my own experience of homesharing many years ago. I lived with a wonderful lady called Joy over 30 years ago, and our friendship remained strong until she passed away earlier this year – our companionship meant as much to me as it did to her, and I have nothing but the fondest of memories. Secondly, my 27 years in Social Care reinforced to me that companionship is the single area of care delivery that matters most to the vast majority of older people in our communities – and sadly, the changes in that sector mean that Carers have little or no time to spend quality time with those they look after. Companionship really matters these days, now more than ever. Our work in widening the scale of Homesharing over the next 5 years will mean that more people (young AND old) will benefit from this companionship going forwards – and I obviously feel very good about that positive change.”

Tim Crahart, Homeshare UK Development Officer – Wales

“2022 has seen Homeshare come to Wales. The Welsh Government has funded a three year pilot to introduce Homeshare to Wales and we’ve spent the last year working with local providers who are interested in delivering programmes. Following this work, Shared Homes Swansea was launched in April and Pembrokeshire Homeshare launched in June. Both programmes have had interest from Householders and Homesharers and we are awaiting their first matches. Our third pilot is Rhannu Cartref Homeshare Gwynedd and will be launching later in the year. Homeshare really resonates with the Welsh sense of community and with being a grassroots response to the issues of isolation and the lack of affordable accommodation which blight many areas around Wales. Homeshare may be new to Wales but it has a great future.”

Ben Dunne, Homeshare UK Development Officer

“Homeshare UK are lucky to support an amazing network of Homeshare services around the country. From Newcastle to Gloucestershire, Homeshare is bringing people together to share their home life, time, skills, and experience. Homeshare services are the experts at safely and successfully matching people together who want support around the house with people who need affordable accommodation and are happy to help. However, it’s companionship and friendship that’s at the heart of Homeshare. Recently, I was lucky enough to present Gill Barratt with the Homeshare Champion Award for 2022. It was amazing to hear how Gill has shared her home, changed the lives of so many people, and has clearly loved taking part in Homeshare. Gill has been supported throughout her Homeshare journey by Homeshare Living, a local Homeshare service that recruit, match and support people to share their homes. Here at Homeshare UK, we’re busy supporting Homeshare services to carry out this inspiring work and we’re excited about opening up Homeshare to more people across the UK.”