Shared Lives Plus, a UK charity that promotes supported shared living, has partnered with Homeshare International with the aim of transforming home sharing across the globe and making a difference to thousands of older people.
After merging with Homeshare UK three years ago, Shared Lives will now support the development of homesharing programmes around the world through its partnership with Homeshare International, which has set up successful projects in 16 countries over 20 years.
Homesharing enables two unrelated people to share their lives for their mutual benefit. A homesharer provides support and companionship to a householder – usually an elderly person – in exchange for free or low-cost accommodation.
Over the last three years, Lloyds Bank Foundation and Big Lottery Fund have each invested £1m to expand Homeshare in the UK by funding and evaluating several local Homeshare pilots.
Alex Fox, CEO of Shared Lives Plus, said: “A working partnership with Homeshare International is a natural development for us. We are honoured to form this partnership with Homeshare International, building on years of its ground-breaking work. We will be consulting with all Homeshare International’s stakeholders and actively seeking funding to expand and develop Homeshare International’s support for homesharing around the globe.”
The partnership follows the announcement that Elizabeth Mills will step down as honorary director of Homeshare International after 12 years.
“I am delighted and proud to welcome this development; after 12 years at the helm of Homeshare International, it is time to step down. I know that the injection of ideas, enthusiasm and professionalism that will come from the team at Shared Lives Plus will transform homesharing across the world, and make a real difference to thousands of older people who are at risk of loneliness, at the same time helping to tackle the spiralling costs of rental property for the young.”