Need a hand at home? Got a spare room?
Homeshare Bristol is a scheme designed to help older people and adults with disabilities to remain living in their own homes. It is an exchange between two people. The “householder” offers a room and a share of the home’s facilities in exchange for ten hours of support per week from the “homesharer”.
There are a number of Homeshare schemes in the UK. Homesharing is also well established in the USA, Australia and Europe. Homeshare Bristol is run by West of England (WE) Care and Repair. It has funding from Bristol City Council for two years after which it aims to be self financing.
The support given by the homesharer is determined by what the householder wants – for example, help with cooking, gardening, walking the dog, paperwork and trips out. Support does not include personal care. Companionship is central to a Homeshare arrangement, with the householder also having the security of knowing someone will be home most nights.
Homesharers are responsible and capable adults who are working or studying in Bristol, in need of low-cost accommodation and have an interest in the welfare of others. They are selected carefully, with a thorough interview and detailed references. A DBS (formerly CRB) check is carried out.
Both the householder and homesharer pay a monthly fee of £60 towards the running costs of Homeshare Bristol. The homesharer pays for their own food, personal items and phone costs. If the householder loses their Council Tax single householder discount as a result of the homeshare arrangement, then the homesharer will be asked to make up this monthly amount. The householder will normally cover the cost of other utility bills.
Having identified a ‘match’, the Homeshare Co-ordinator helps draw up a sharing agreement and makes regular contact during the first few months; remaining on hand to offer support if and when needed. We ask homesharers to commit to stay for at least six months.
Homeshare Bristol facilitates the match and provides support; monitoring the arrangement and, if necessary, helping to resolve any issues that arise between the two parties. However, it has no contractual relationship with either party. The agreement is made between the householder and homesharer and not with Homeshare Bristol.
To find out more about Homeshare tel: 0300 323 0700, visit www.homesharebristol.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org