ITV News is running a series of special reports this week on how communities are coming together to help vulnerable people through homesharing schemes.
Regional news teams have already met with carers up and down the country who are opening up their own homes to look after those with learning disabilities, and now they are shining the spotlight on how the elderly and infirm can get companionship and support through these programmes.
Over the weekend, ITV Wales reported on how UK charity Shared Lives Plus is hoping to revolutionise the way social care is offered.
The programme featured 20-year-old Ethan Morgan who was welcomed into the home of Mo Hand two years ago.
Mo is one of thousands of Shared Lives carers who receive financial support to care for vulnerable people like Ethan, who has learning difficulties and has spent most of his childhood in foster care.
Last night, ITV News Meridan interviewed homesharer 19-year-old Rebekah Tate who provides companionship to 90-year-old Cecil Humphery-Smith, who lives in Kent, in exchange for low-cost accommodation.
“He has carers come to see him four times a day to give him his medication and put him to bed and things like that. I don’t do any of that, I’m just here as a friendly face more than anything. I will make him cups of tea and help him out if he needs anything, basically so he’s not lonely,” said Rebekah.
The programme also featured Rebecca Odelowo, director of Lightshare Homeshare, whose staff pay regular visits to Cecil’s home and carry out checks.
“The service is really safe. Before we place anyone, we have to interview them, doing reference checks and we also do police checks,” said Rebecca.
“We also monitor the match on a monthly basis via telephone calls and visits.”
More stories from the series, Help on Hand, will be available on ITV News’ website in the coming days.