Information for Sharers considering Homeshare
Share and Care Homeshare matches helpful and caring people with an opportunity for low-cost accommodation which might otherwise be unaffordable. In return, these ‘Sharers’ give the person they live with an agreed level of practical support, plus friendly companionship in their spare time, usually over four evenings each week and for a few hours at weekends.
Who it helps
Share and Care Homeshare specialises in matching – and supporting – live-in Sharers with Householders. Our Sharers come from all walks of life, and different cultures and backgrounds, although typically we require a high level of clear spoken English for the purpose of good communication. Sharers are normally aged 24 and over and are either working or studying. Some have jobs in sectors such as health, social services or education. Others are mature students, graduates on graduate schemes, artists, musicians or experienced carer-companions. The scheme is a very low cost option for accommodation, with Sharers paying as low as £5 per day, depending on location.
Based on the concept of exchange, the Sharer benefits from low-cost accommodation, whilst the Householder receives companionship and practical help in and around their home. Please note: The Sharer is not permitted to give any personal or nursing care to the person they live with.
How it works
The Sharer agrees to give 10 hours of practical help each week and some friendly companionship [our guideline for the companionship is not less than 5 hours per week] in exchange for a bedroom and a share of the use of the Householder’s property and facilities. Sharers must be in the home at least four evenings per week and sleep in the property a minimum of six nights each week – but ideally for all seven nights, except for occasional nights away and up to one weekend a month. It is usually a flexible arrangement with the practical duties including anything from shopping, cooking nutritious meals, light cleaning, gardening, taking out bins and changing lightbulbs through to accompanying to appointments, on shopping trips or to social events. The companionship aspect may include sharing some meals with the Householder, playing a game, watching TV together, enjoying a chat over a cup of tea or simply being in the home.
Who can be a Sharer?
Anyone who is settled in a regular job or who is studying in the UK. Potential Sharers must know the timings and location of these before applying. The 10 hours of practical help is normally spread out over the week. Sharers are ideally over 24 years old, have had some experience in running a home, are confident cooks, are friendly and caring and would welcome the opportunity of affordable accommodation and making a new friend. Except in rare circumstances, most arrangements last for at least a year, and many for several years. We do therefore look for Sharers who will be in a position to commit for at least one year.
Why it works
We interview our Sharers for each individual situation to ensure careful matching of a Sharer with an individual Householder, couple or family member who needs the support. It is beneficial to the longevity of a Share that they have interests in common and that the Sharer is someone who has genuine interest in living with this person. Share and Care aims to find the Sharer a place to call home.
Duties of the Sharer
The Sharer agrees to give 10 hours of practical help (NB not personal or nursing care) each week, plus the natural friendly company that comes from sharing a home. As opposed to a lodger, who may come and go without necessarily having to let their landlord know about his/her movements, a Sharer has a responsibility towards the person whose home they are sharing. They are expected to be willing to spend four evenings at home each week to give practical help and company. They are expected to keep the Householder notified of their general movements – e.g. when having an evening out or if planning a weekend away.
For many Householders, another key reason for having a Sharer is the reassurance of having someone there at night. Our Sharers must sleep at home at least six nights each week, except for holidays by arrangement. Most sleep there seven nights a week except for holidays and occasional weekends away.
Both the Householder and the Sharer contribute a nominal monthly fee which equates to as low as £5 per day.
The Monthly Accommodation Fee for a Sharer is [£125 plus VAT ]=£150 per month. As Share and Care Homeshare does not receive any funding, these contributions go towards the running of the organisation. There is no exchange of money between the Householder and the Sharer (except reimbursement of shopping, and in some cases a nominal, capped, contribution to household bills).
Other costs to consider – Contribution to household bills if requested will be between up to£60 pcm.
Admin Fee when offered a Homeshare – A non-refundable administration fee of £60 (£50 plus VAT) is payable when you are offered, and accept, a Homeshare arrangement. This goes towards the administration and vetting costs incurred.
If a Sharer changes their mind after accepting a Homeshare, Share and Care Homeshare charges a cancellation fee of £90 (£75 plus VAT) towards the time and costs already incurred.
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 weeks’ notice period is included in all agreements.
Share and Care Homeshare provides regular, on-going support to both the Sharer and the Householder. Our objective is to monitor the relationship to encourage and support a happy, friendly share and, if needed, to help clarify and resolve any issues should they arise. The Share and Care team is always willing to provide a listening ear and balanced advice, and aims to provide a professional and friendly service. Share and Care has been providing homeshares since 2006.
Don’t just take our word for our service! We are delighted to have helped so many people since 2006!