Homeshare UK is part of Shared Lives Plus, the UK membership charity for 150 Shared Lives schemes, over 6,000 Shared Lives carers and a growing network of over 20 Homeshare providers.

Homeshare UK work with their members to provide resources, training, and support to set up and grow, as well as facilitate the network to support and learn from each other. Homeshare UK and their members act as a network to influence national and local decision makers and raise awareness of Homeshare across the UK.

Homeshare Expansion Programme

In 2021, Shared Lives Plus was awarded a significant grant to develop and deliver an ambitious challenge through the launch of a Homeshare social franchise offer and to directly deliver two Homeshare services for the first time.

As a membership organisation, these were new concepts, having not had previous experience of delivery and independently working. The investment of funding for this project was planned over a five-year period which tapered downwards each year. In hindsight and on reflection it is clear the targets were very ambitious, and due to not generating enough income, sadly the projects cannot continue. At the same time, the programme was delivered at a time of major challenges facing the country in terms of Covid 19, rising housing costs, a cost-of-living crisis and huge challenges facing social care.

The dedicated team undertook entrepreneurial work to get these projects off the ground, including building local and national relationships, developing robust processes and materials, as well as working hard to raise the profile of Homeshare across the UK. It has been an incredibly challenging environment to work in, with plenty of successes.

We were really excited about these projects but despite everyone’s best efforts, we were not able to achieve what was planned and are disappointed to announce these big changes. We have been supporting colleagues and those who were on the social franchise pipeline who have been directly impacted, during this process.

The Homeshare UK network

Homeshare has been in the UK since the late 80s, when Nan Maitland, an occupational therapist in South London developed the first programme – this was in direct response to the needs of older people living in that area who needed some extra support at home. Shared Lives Plus has grown the Homeshare UK network steadily since 2016, alongside developing a tried and tested framework for safe delivery. Whilst we embarked on new projects at the end of 2021, we continued supporting the UK network of Homeshare providers, who during this time have thrived, providing their local communities with the chance to share their lives and homes with one another.

Despite the Shared Lives Plus Homeshare projects ending, we are continuing to support and work closely with the Homeshare UK network. Members displaying the Homeshare UK membership badge all deliver local and safe Homeshare services. Shared Lives Plus remain committed to Homeshare and the Homeshare UK network members. The projects we embarked on as a charity are separate from our members and is not a reflection on their hard work locally.

A householder who is supported by one of our network members, Novus Homeshare said, “My homesharer has been living with me for over a year and homesharing is working really well, I’m so pleased… she is a super cook and such great company. I really enjoy our chats over a nice meal in the evenings and she is very helpful with all the things I can’t manage around the house.”

If you are interested in Homeshare, please contact one of our network members who is based near you.

Why Homeshare? Building social connections and tackling the house crisis

Homeshare, is a sustainable low-cost solution supporting key policy challenges in the UK. It helps people to stay independent in the places they love to live and build community connections, it is a mutually beneficial arrangement with both people having something they need and something to give.

Homeshare brings two people together to share a home; typically, someone who needs help to live independently in their own home (a householder) is matched with someone who can provide that support (a homesharer). In return for affordable accommodation, the homesharer provides around ten hours of practical support and/or companionship to the householder.

Homeshare is flexible and can be adapted to suit the needs of different groups of householders and homesharers, each match is bespoke, and all our members have robust safeguarding processes in place.

If you would like to learn more about Homeshare please visit our FAQ page or contact us.