In our bi monthly blog feature, we are meeting our Homeshare UK Network Members so you can get to know the people that deliver Homeshare and hear their stories. This month we chat with Karman Dhupar from Novus Homeshare based in Harrow in London.
When did you start your Homeshare service?
In August 2014 Novus (LCCC) acquired The Homeshare scheme from Crossroads Care (Central & North London) who wanted to expand their services but didn’t have the infrastructure. We are based in North Harrow sharing our offices with another charity called Harrow Carers.
What areas do you cover?
We currently cover all of London (and surrounding areas) and provide a service tailored to our clients’ needs, as we believe every match is unique. We have worked alongside 18 carers’ centres across London all affiliated to the Carers Trust to share knowledge where we all share a common aim which is to help people that need extra support at home and financially, in order to improve their quality of life.
How many matches are you supporting?
We are currently supporting over 36 people across London with our service and are working with many councils, (in particular Barnet & Brent), voluntary sector organisations and funders to raise awareness of this amazing opportunity.
Who is in your team?
Our lovely small team is formed of five staff members Mike, Radha, Nicky, Rehan, and myself, Karman.
Mike, the CEO of Harrow Carers who set up the Novus Homeshare scheme brings a wealth of knowledge overlooking the smooth running of the service.
Our Homeshare manager Radha, has 20 years of corporate experience bringing excellent client facing skills. Radha goes out to match meetings and carries out risk assessments to ensure there is a good standard of service to mitigate any risks.
Nicky, our match coordinator who has worked for the council and previously for a care agency works very hard daily to find the right Homesharers for our householders thoroughly assessing any potential Homesharers through enhanced DBS checks, background checks and interviews to find the perfect match.
To assist with finance and marketing we have two interns who are learning and providing their fresh new ideas to this scheme. As a non-profit organisation we also have committed volunteer Raquel who has been assisting us on day to day duties and activities where her help is very much appreciated.
What motivated you do get involved in Homeshare?
As a young person myself when I first heard about this Homeshare scheme I knew it was the opportunity I wanted to explore and understand better. People at Novus do this because we care about people and we believe that this is an effective way to tackle big social issues such as decreasing the intergenerational ga, tackling loneliness and providing an affordable alternative to housing in London. It is rewarding to see the difference Homesharing makes to the lives of Householders, Homesharers and family members who receive a peace of mind knowing their loved ones are in good company because the Homesharers are carefully selected and matched.
What have been the key milestones/highlights of your Homeshare journey?
Our journey has been a thrilling one with many key moments and highlights. We have seen many successful and happy matches with some going off to be friends for life. We have had many great media opportunities, the first one with Sky News, October 2014 where they presented to the world unlikely housemates Fredi, one of our inspiring Homesharers and Olga, one of our lovely Householders.
In 2018, we were asked to shoot with BBC news where we were able to feature one of
our matches Florence and Alexandra. It was a great experience for our matches and a proud moment for Novus Homeshare as we were able to bring awareness to Novus Homeshare and Homeshare as a whole scheme with the help from Shared Lives Plus.
Click her to view the full video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXdXm1lA9J8
Following from those major media videos we have had the opportunity to be featured in some fantastic news articles such as The Telegraph, The Times, ITV, TimeOut London, Yahoo, The Guardian, Lad Bible, also been able to feature on Radio Harrow. Through our journey we have also been able to make some good partnerships with councils across London such as Barnet, Brent and Camden and we are able to provide the best service possible.
To view all other press features: https://www.novus-homeshare.org.uk/press
It has been encouraging to hear Health Secretary Matt Hancock speak warmly about the benefits of intergenerational care already. On a recent report from the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Social Integration, that local authorities have recommend to work closely with the private sector to encourage the expansion of initiatives which use existing housing to foster intergenerational connection which is good news for us.
What are your future plans for your Homeshare Organisation?
As a Homeshare organisation we want to grow our services to help as many people as we can across London as we truly believe this is a great opportunity which many people can benefit from. Being a non-profit organisation our clients are at the heart of what we do and we would like to become one of the leading Homeshare organisations in London where people can rely on us for support.
Some quotes from our Homeshare matches:
Margaret (Householder) and Gabby (Homesharer)
“Gabby has been living with me for over a year and it has been working really well. She’s a super cook and great company. I enjoy our chats together over a meal in the evenings and she’s very helpful with things I can’t manage around the house”- Margaret (Householder) who have been homesharing since 2018.
Gerald (Householder) and Greg (Homesharer)
“Greg is charming and we could not have found anyone better suited. Dad’s demeanour changed almost straight away. Having someone in the home “24/7” made a vast difference, even though Greg works full time.
He took him shopping regularly and calls me often with updates. I can see a change in Dad, he seems much happier.
He enjoys the company, having someone around and they have become quite close. None of this would have occurred without me finding out about Novus. All the Novus team were incredibly helpful, friendly and a pleasure to work with.
They made the transition very smooth. There were no obstacles at all. Being an only child the responsibility was/is all on me. Now I have someone to share it with and keep an eye on Dad. Feels like a weights been lifted off my shoulders and I will be eternally grateful to Novus and Greg. To be honest Greg is an “angel” and we feel very lucky to have met him.” – Murray (Son of householder)
To find out more about Novus Homeshare visit https://www.novus-homeshare.org.uk/ or contact us by calling 03300882225 to speak to one of our friendly team.
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