Over the last year, we’ve made some great friends and allies in Norwich and Norfolk and we’re working together to develop a bespoke Homeshare service. Many areas across the UK already have Homeshare organisations providing safe and supportive Homeshares and it’s our mission to develop a local Homeshare service for Norfolk!

The enthusiasm for how Homeshare tackles the housing crisis facing younger people and the loneliness and isolation facing older people has been clear to see. Older people and their families have told us that the single biggest positive of Homeshare is the company and friendship, and during the last couple of years we’ve all needed people in our lives that we can depend on and trust.

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of meeting older people attending a multi-games sessions delivered by the brilliant Age UK Norwich. After a long period of day services being paused due to the pandemic, it was a delight to meet people face-to-face again.

So, amid the archery, quoits and boccia, I was lucky enough to hear the views of older people on the potential of a local service. For some, it was the first time they had heard of Homeshare, for others it was a familiar concept, and for one or two people, something that they have been doing themselves informally.

This clearly tells us there is a real need for a local Homeshare service that can provide safe Homeshare arrangements, such as carrying out DBS checks, taking up references, and ongoing support of a Homeshare match to ensure it is a safe a supported relationship. So, whether you Homeshare for six months or six years, you will be supported to get the best out of the arrangement.

Many of the people I spoke to also told me that home felt like the safest place, and they wanted to remain living independently. However, people had experienced increased loneliness during the pandemic and lockdowns and felt more isolated living alone.

“Sharing my home might feel strange at the start but having more company and someone to help me with jobs around the house sounds much better.”

Homeshare offers a fantastic solution to both these issues. Homeshare enables older people to provide safe and affordable places for young people to live whilst also gaining someone to bring conversation, companionship, laughter, and fresh perspectives into their lives.

You can find out more about how Homeshare has helped people by reading real Homeshare stories.

Find out more about our work in Norfolk and if you are interested in hearing more please contact:

Ben Dunne, Homeshare Development Officer ben.dunne@sharedlivesplus.org.uk