This spring, the first Homeshare service in Wales is starting, bringing cheer by matching older people living alone with those seeking affordable accommodation in and around Swansea, Wales.
The news comes as the true scale of loneliness in the UK is becoming understood. Older people in Wales want to stay living at home for longer. In Wales, 54% of people aged 60-74 and 49% of people 75+ years, said they felt lonely sometimes (ONS).
Homeshare UK and Shared Homes Swansea, part of Swansea Council for Voluntary Service, are launching the first Welsh pilot programme to offer 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.
Homeshare works by matching people together for mutual support; a person who has a spare room and is looking for company and a bit of practical support, shares their home with someone looking for affordable accommodation. Roxane Dacey from SCVS says:
“Homeshare is a way of bringing the two groups together to solve each other’s needs by using their respective strengths, promoting stronger communities and providing mutual support. Shared Homes Swansea along with support from Homeshare UK aim to support 26 matches in the first 2 years.”
Dave Howes, Director of Social Services, Swansea Council said:
‘We’re delighted to see the Shared Homes Swansea programme launching through our partners SCVS. Independence in older age is so important to people’s quality of life, and this project, which can reduce loneliness, provide low level support to enable people to stay in their own homes for longer, and offer affordable accommodation, is very timely and welcome.”