John and Annie welcomed their sharer, Rui, into their home earlier this year. She is already part of
the family, “a ray of sunshine”, who is the perfect match for John and Annie. Share and Care Homeshare chatted to John and Anne to find out more about the successful match!
Q: Tell me about your homeshare arrangement
We live in a large ground floor flat in West London. It’s a lovely home with a large garden
and is in a very nice area, close to the shops and public transport links. Our sharer, Rui, moved in with us in March 2022 and it is working wonderfully.
Q: What attracted you to the idea of homesharing?
We are at the stage in our lives where we need some support around the home. I [Annie]
have reduced mobility and have been experiencing seizures. Although I feel better, things
are getting harder, and it is more challenging to do certain tasks. John is sometimes away,
and on these occasions I liked the idea of additional security, someone else in the house.
We didn’t qualify for state aid and my daughter suggested we contact Share and Care
Q: Tell me about your sharer
Our close connection with Rui formed very quickly. Rui has fitted in so well, she’s like a
niece or daughter to us. Rui is from China and having completed her degree in Manchester,
she was looking to relocate to London to start her new role in the banking industry. She is a
very nice young woman who is very well educated.
She is also the most amazing cook, and we absolutely adore her food! When she comes
home from work, she often cooks for us and manages to make a delicious meal from
whatever we have in the fridge! This is a big plus for us.
We really trust Rui in every way and that’s a great relief for us too. She is an extremely
conscientious girl, and if she ever moves on, she’ll be a hard act to follow!
Q: What type of things do you do together?
With Rui’s talented cooking skills, we enjoy eating together and share lots of conversations
over dinner about the UK, China, and business. We all work well together, and she talks
about a lot of her experiences with us – from her day-to-day office role, to updates on her
family back in China.
As Rui works in the day, it gives both her and us the space and independence we all need
but also a balance of companionship and support which important to all of us.
Q: What impact has homesharing had on you?
It’s hard to explain how, but Rui has had a very good impact on us and the house. It was
really unexpected. She is a ray of sunshine.
In China, Rui helped look after her grandparents, so she understands our situation. She also
goes beyond the call of duty and is keen to help in whatever way she can. For instance,
Annie had a seizure while I [John] was not at home and Rui had everything under control –
she was there for Annie and even called the emergency services and kept our family in the
loop. Rui didn’t sign up for that, but she managed the situation incredibly well and got the
help needed at the time.
Q: What impact do you think homesharing has had on Rui?
Homeshare works well for all of us. We have a mutual appreciation of each other. For
instance, I [John] will get up a little earlier than I used to so that I can make coffee for Rui
before she goes off to work. It’s a routine that I enjoy, and Rui is happy because she can
grab breakfast and dash off to work!
Rui also loves having a home to live in, her own bedroom and bathroom, and the
friendliness of our homeshare arrangement. She is also very aware economically and
completely appreciates that rental prices in this area are ridiculously high which younger
people cannot afford, and so she often treats us to groceries – which is totally unexpected
and not necessary, but we are also very appreciative. It’s a nice gesture.
Q: What does your family think of homesharing?
My daughter lives nearby and is very pleased with the arrangement. She has a family of her
own and children, so it is not possible for her to be here all the time. My daughter is very
important to me, and she is happy that we have the companionship and security of
someone else in our home.
Rui has even entered into the spirit of a fancy dress party at my daughter’s house which is
lovely; she is part of the family.