Scheme to tackle loneliness and provide more homes
Published: Thursday 1st March 18
A scheme that aims to tackle loneliness while providing more affordable housing is being launched by Wandsworth and Richmond councils.
The Homeshare scheme matches up elderly householders looking for companionship and support with people looking for somewhere affordable to live.
(Back row l-r) Cllr Ellis, Alex Fox, CEO of Shared Lives Plus, the umbrella group for Homeshare and Shared Lives schemes (front row l-r) Eglionna Treanor from Carers Trust Wandsworth, Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia and David Marlow
Both councils are now officially working with Homeshare UK (the UK network for Home Share schemes) to deliver the initiative. They will act as a ‘match maker’ across a range of Homeshare providers – identifying isolated or lonely people and linking them up with someone who can provide a nominal number of hours of support a week in exchange for accommodation.
The Homesharer helps with daily living tasks such as cleaning, shopping, gardening, companionship and helping around the house.
Homesharing has a number of benefits. For the older resident, the arrangement offers support with everyday tasks, enabling them to stay independent in their own homes for longer. It also provides companionship, helping to combat loneliness and social isolation.
For the younger Homesharer it provides affordable housing and companionship and new relationships in a comfortable family home. Homeshare is also a great life experience and addition to a CV. The councils will work in partnership with local employers and educational establishments to identify people who could benefit.
Homeshare UK carefully assess all applications and link applicants to the most suitable provider of Home Share brokerage, who will then take references, conduct enhanced DBS checks and have a thorough assessment and matching process to ensure risk and safeguarding issues are well managed.
Wandsworth social care spokesman Cllr Paul Ellis said: “This is a common-sense approach that tackled two problems at once in a creative way. Loneliness is a hidden problem in our communities, and as well as providing more homes, this scheme will provide companionship and bring different generations together.”
Cllr David Marlow, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Adult Services and Health, said: “We know how much people enjoy being able to stay in their own home – and the benefits that come with doing so. This scheme allows those participating to maintain their independence and dignity, while knowing help is always there should they need it.”