Everyone has been getting used to a new normal during these exceptional times and we know that the lockdown measures have been really hard for so many who are alone and unable to socialise in person with their friends and family networks. The rise of video calling and social distancing street chats are all helping us get through and connect with our loved ones but having company in the home has made the lockdown easier for so many of our Homeshare households.
We have had some wonderful press coverage across our network members and everyone has been sharing their pictures and stories on social media. We have rounded up some of the lovely stories we have heard to show how Homesharers really have been a lifeline to each other. Whether it’s practical help with shopping and collecting prescriptions, getting online to set up video calls or being each others sounding boards and activity partners, music, gardening, card games and cooking are all helping our Homeshare households get through lockdown and come out better friends than ever.
Olivia and Sylvia have been Homesharing through Homeshare Living since January and shared their story with the Sunday Telegraph
‘Before moving in with Sylvia I’d lived with people my own age’ says Olivia, 24. ‘Ironically I found it quite a lonely experience…Everyone was so busy-too busy to chat’
‘I liked the idea of having someone around the flat…I didn’t need a carer and I’ve always enjoyed the company of younger people. Said Sylvia ‘(Olivia) is fun, caring, interesting and interested’
‘I call Norman ‘Google’ because he knows everything’ says Jorge who left all his family in Syria to move to London. ‘It feels amazing to have someone that cares about you and you care about them, he has been very supportive’
I knew there might be awkward problems initially said Norman that I would have to grin and bear but i grinned and didn’t have to bear it!
Homeshare Oxford’s network of Homesharers have mobilised and are supporting each other through regular Zoom calls but also lending a helping hand to those that they are no longer sharing with. Getting shopping, picking up prescriptions and generally being a friendly face. They are working closely with the local Covid Mutual Aid groups to plan other initiatives and volunteer.
Homeshare has been a lifeline during this pandemic says Olivia, a householder’s daughter to their Homeshare organisation Novus Homeshare. Without her Homesharer, Mum would have spiraled in to a terrible depression as self-isolation for a 93 year old woman with no ability o communicate other than the phone, would not bear thinking about.
Initially, “I dismissed it entirely because I didn’t want to live with any stranger,” she says. “I’ve been married for 63 years and I was so used to [Louis] and I miss him still. [Then] Audrey told me about Seerat. I met her and liked her immediately… it was a feeling,” says Joan
“Age doesn’t really matter, and generational gap doesn’t matter. If you connect, you connect with anybody… me and Joan can have a conversation about anything.”
We’d like to thank our amazing network of Homeshare organisations who are supporting these Homeshare households and also adjusting their working practices to make new matches in the safest possible way.
Contact your local Homeshare organisation to enquire about Homesharing and see how they are operating during the Cornavirus pandemic in the UK. Homeshare UK has issued guidance and best practice framework for our members to work within.