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Homeshare opens new doors to independent living for older and younger people

Six pilot projects offering a positive solution for younger people seeking affordable accommodation and older people wanting to live independently in their own homes have received more than £1.3 million from the Big Lottery Fund.
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UK Homeshare Pilot
Release date:
18 3 2016

The projects are the latest to be funded as part of Homeshare, the UK’s first national home-sharing initiative developed by the Big Lottery Fund and Lloyds Bank Foundation as a new and sustainable model for people with particular housing needs in local communities. It matches younger people looking for reasonably-priced accommodation with older people who are lonely or isolated and can offer a spare room.

The younger person typically pledges around 10 hours of companionship and light domestic help to their host in return for accommodation, bringing practical, financial and emotional benefits for those who take part. Projects have been developed with local partners to best suit the needs and requirements of their communities, and will support groups including students, young care leavers, low earners, people with disabilities and weekday workforces. The pilots will test different models to help make services viable in the long-term.

Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive of the Big Lottery Fund said: “Homeshare offers a new and sustainable model for people to live more independently and take control of their lives through supporting one another. It provides new opportunities for young people to find somewhere affordable to live and for older people to retain the independence of living and providing companionship and security. We hope this funding will help establish Homeshare partnerships as a sustainable housing and lifestyle option.”

Paul Streets OBE, Chief Executive at Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales said: “Too often we separate generations of old and young. Homeshare brings them together in a really positive way so that the older person can retain their independence and the younger person can have somewhere affordable to live. True symbiosis. We’re excited to be working with the Big Lottery Fund and local and national partners to bring Homeshare to new areas with the help of these grants, and show how it can be a scalable and sustainable solution to the care and housing challenges we face.”

Among today’s awards is a grant to leading social housing provider Knowsley Housing Trust, which has received £226,938 for a project that will match older people living in their own homes with young people, including care leavers and those not in employment, education or training. The project will encourage positive and supportive relationships between vulnerable groups of people who would otherwise not come in contact with each other. It will work to prevent and delay older people moving into full-time care while reducing the risk of youth homelessness and improving the chances of young people to progress into work or learning opportunities.

The project will also explore ways in which Homeshare could work with the local authority to find new and sustainable ways of reducing the need for particularly vulnerable groups in the community to go into care or emergency accommodation. The Trust will roll out the scheme in local partnership with Person Shaped Support, Knowsley Council, and Knowsley Community College.

Fiona Mather Business Development Manager, Knowsley Housing Trust said: “Social isolation can have devastating impacts on health and well-being but it’s not just an issue reserved for older people. Young people can be equally affected, particularly young care leavers or those not in education, employment or training. With increasing numbers of older people and increasing pressures on younger people we are excited to be able to work with the Big Lottery Fund to introduce Homeshare to the area.”

Further grants awarded today under the Homeshare scheme are:

  • Click Nottingham, with £148,812 for a scheme to match older people with students, single professionals and semi-retired people. The project will develop relationships with organisations that can promote the scheme to potential home-sharers in local universities and NHS staff. It will work in partnership with Nottingham City Homes, Nottingham City Council, Nottingham City Clinical Group, and Metropolitan Over 60s Signposting Service.
  • PossAbilities in Rochdale, Greater Manchester with £267,091 for a project to match female householders aged over 65 and at risk of isolation with local students, interns, apprentices, trainee health workers and low income care workers. The scheme will be developed across Littleborough, Bamford, Spotland and Falinge, and South Middleton.
  • Age UK Isle of Wight, with £162,017 to match older people with young people, key workers, weekly workforces, and older single or divorced people. It will work in partnership with  IW Council Housing and Adult Social Care Services, Isle Help advice hub, the clinical commissioning group-led 'My Life, A Full Life' initiative, member of the Ageing Better management group, People Matter IW and Carers IW.
  • Leeds City Council, with £111,410 to match older people with students of all ages and weekly workforces. It will work in partnership with Leeds Beckett University, a representative from the Ageing Well Board, Care and Repair Leeds and Leeds Older People’s Forum.
  • Edinburgh Development Group, with £122,000 to match people of all ages with learning disabilities with an appropriate home-sharer who can support them to live more independently, including older people, students, carers and early career professionals. The project steering group will include l’Arche, Camphill, Share Scotland: Local Area Co-ordination and City of Edinburgh Council.

The partnership programme last year looked at the potential for Homeshare to become a solution on a national scale to the two social issues of loneliness among older people and younger people unable to find affordable accommodation. Two individual ongoing schemes were funded in 2015, working with advisory partners Age UK, Shared Lives Plus, Foyer Federation and the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE). This new funding means new approaches will be explored, developed and independently evaluated by the Office for Public Management (OPM).

Notes to Editors:

  • Homeshare is a £2million programme which has been developed by the Big Lottery Fund and Lloyds Bank Foundation as the UK’s first national home sharing initiative. It matches young people looking for reasonably-priced accommodation with older people who are lonely or isolated and can offer a spare room. For more information see www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/homeshare
  • The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery for good causes and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes.
  • Since June 2004 we have awarded over £8 billion to projects that make a difference to people and communities in need, from early years intervention to commemorative travel funding for World War Two veterans. Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £34 billion has been raised and more than 450,000 grants awarded.
  • The Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales is an independent, registered charity which invests in charities supporting people to break out of disadvantage at critical points in their lives, and promotes practical approaches to lasting change. The Foundation derives its income from Lloyds Banking Group. It has awarded over £300 million in grants to 42,000 charities across England and Wales over 30 years. The Foundation has invested £1 million in the Homeshare Programme to support pilot programmes and evaluation. For more information see http://www.lloydsbankfoundation.org.uk/our-programmes/issue-based-programme/homeshare

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