Information for Families considering the support of a Home Sharer
Share and Care’s homeshare scheme can also support busy Families who would benefit from low-cost practical help and companionship for children/young adults with physical disabilities and learning difficulties such as Autism, ADHD and Down’s Syndrome. The Sharer offers practical support in the home which may include occasionally accompanying the young person to activities, or being a friend/mentor/chaperone to other children in the family, thereby offering some respite to parents.
Who our service helps
The scheme works in the same way as our service for the elderly; it is an affordable, live-in, low-cost service to offer some practical support in the home, such as putting bins out, cooking a few meals, light housework plus some companionship to some one in the family, maybe a child or young adult. Some families also appreciate the benefit of the Sharer as a house and pet-sitter if they go away on holiday.
Share and Care specialises in introducing live-in Sharers to Householders and Families. Because the Sharer lives with the Family under the terms of a Homeshare Licence Agreement, the Sharer [licensee] has no tenancy rights nor any employment rights as there is neither a tenancy agreement nor an employment relationship between the two parties.
Share and Care’s homeshare scheme is a very low cost option of having this help priced at just £5 per day. In addition, because the Sharer is responsible for paying for his/her own food and personal items, there aren’t any ‘hidden’ costs.
How it works
Based on the idea of exchange, the Family offers a bedroom and the use of their home’s facilities to the Sharer (the person who lives with them) in return for around 10 hours a week of practical help and support usually including cooking, light cleaning, laundry/ironing, shopping, gardening plus 5 hours of being in the home to offer (sleeping babysitting, occasional outing with the child/young adult, watching TV with the child/young adult or playing on a game console together). The Families property becomes the Sharer’s home for the duration of the agreement. In return for this, the Sharer agrees to sleep in the house for at least six nights a week – although it is their home for all seven nights – and to offer the additional support at other times during the day or early evening.
Please note: The Sharer is not permitted to give any personal or nursing care to the person they live with. If personal care is required, a homeshare can sit alongside a care package from a personal care agency.
The Sharer, who will usually be 24 years old or over, continues his/her regular job or studies during the day. The 10 hours of support given by a Sharer is normally spread out over the week. We look for Sharers who are friendly and caring and who would welcome the opportunity of affordable accommodation and making new friends.
Who it works for
This service helps Families who are looking for low cost help and perhaps an alternative to the traditional au pair or care route. It helps Families who need some general help around the home and because perhaps they have a child or young adult with special needs or a disability who may need a companion/mentor/helper. The scheme is an ideal way to support the parents and other children within the family.
Why it works
Share and Care pays great attention to the personalities of the Families who are looking for help, and works hard in a professional, yet friendly manner to find Sharers who have suitable practical experience and availability as well as similar interests so that they can give the required support and also so that genuine friendships can develop.
Where it works
Share and Care offers a service across mainland UK. In locations outside major cities or large towns, it may take longer to find the right Sharer and in some rural locations it may not be possible to find a suitable Sharer at all.
Choosing your Sharer
When matching a Family with a Sharer, the Agency starts by finding out as much as possible about the Family. Share and Care then performs a rigorous interview process and vetting process with the potential Sharer to assess their suitability and compatibility. Share and Care ensures Sharers have an in-date DBS check [Disclosure Barring Service] or applies for one for them, and personally contacts a minimum of two referees. When introducing a potential Sharer, Share and Care will first provide the Family with a written synopsis, including references, of the Sharer applicant. The Family then meets the potential Sharer to see how they get on. Referees may also be contacted by the Family. If the Family offers the homeshare to the Sharer, at that stage we draw up the Homeshare Licence Agreement. After the Sharer has moved in, Share and Care continues to keep in regular contact with both parties to ensure the arrangement is satisfactory and offer advice, if required.
Both the *Family and the Sharer make a nominal monthly contribution to Share and Care Homeshare. As Share and Care Homeshare does not receive any external funding, these contributions go towards running the service. For the Family, this includes finding, vetting and matching Sharers as well as monitoring and supporting the arrangement. For the Sharer, they are vetted, matched and introduced to a Family and benefit from the low- priced accommodation. There is no exchange of money between the Family and the Sharer (except reimbursement of shopping, and, in some cases a nominal, capped, contribution to Utilities etc).
Monthly contribution to Share and Care Homeshare :
- £125 plus VAT = £150 per month, which is £5 per day.
We ask our Sharers to be able to commit to the homeshare for at least 12 months. Most arrangements last for at least a year and many for several years. However, we understand that situations can change on both sides, and a 4 week notice period is included in all agreements.
* A non-refundable Families Registration Fee of £60 plus VAT = £72 is payable at time of registration. This fee covers up to a 6 month search although in most cases a Sharer is found much sooner.
The Sharer is normally responsible for paying for his / her own food and phone bills.
Length of share
We undertake to look for Sharers who will be in a position to commit to living with the Family for at least one year and most arrangements last for a year or longer. However, we understand that situations can change on both sides and a 4 weeks’ notice period is included in all agreements.
On going support
The Share and Care team provides regular, on-going support to both the Family and the Sharer. The objective is to monitor their relationship progress to encourage a happy, friendly homeshare and if needed, help to clarify and resolve any issues should they arise.
We offer all our clients a free place in our weekly Seated Exercise class led by a trained Fitness instructor, this is a great opportunity to interact with other members of the Share and Care community. Our clients also receive a regular newsletter with information and activities.
Homeshare not quite right?
Unity Living- Helpful Housemates has been developed for those Householders who don’t require as much help and support as a Homeshare offers but who would still value a carefully matched and vetted lodger who will pay some rent and can also offer up to 5 hours of support and friendship each week.
Please download our brochure for more information on our homeshare service.