Spotlight on Homeshare UK

Posted: 28 March 2023, in Member Spotlight

We’re delighted to be joined for our latest spotlight by Homeshare UK, a network that carefully matches people with spare rooms with people who can help around the house. We caught up with John Wilberforce, UK Social Franchise Manager, to find out more about the work they do, plans for the year and tips for other social enterprises.

What’s your social and/or environmental mission? 

To help create a kinder, stronger society built around people sharing their lives, skills, and homes. 

How do you do it? (client group, practical daily work, customers etc) 

Homeshare enables two people to share a home for mutual benefit. Typically, an older person living in their own home with a room to spare will be carefully matched with a younger person who will provide an agreed amount of support in exchange for good quality, affordable accommodation. 

What are your current projects? 

We’re just over one year into our Homeshare expansion programme. Over the next four years, we are looking to expand our reach to areas of the UK that do not currently have a local programme through our innovative Social Franchising model. Over the past year we have been laying the foundation of the project, mapping territories and creating content, processes and training to support our franchisees.  We have recruited and are now training our first social franchisees, one in South Yorkshire and a second in Hampshire. Both have backgrounds in nursing, are passionate about the Homeshare model and we are delighted to have them as part of our network. 

What exciting things do you have coming up? 

Our franchising opportunity is proving to be popular. We have a strong pipeline of applicants and are aiming to have our first ten franchisees on board and operating by the end of 2023.  

Who do you want to work with more? 

We’re always keen to hear from more people who want to run a social franchise that can make a real difference to the lives of people in their local community, and particularly from people in Scotland where there is currently very little Homeshare activity.  

What’s your biggest challenge? 

Despite being around in the UK since the 80’s and operating in 19 counties around the world Homeshare as a concept is not well known in this country. We want this shared living model to become a viable mainstream option of support and housing that people can trust. 

What top tips would you give to other social enterprises? 

Have patience. Not everybody will listen to you or share your passion for what you do. But never lose sight of the impact that your success will have on the lives of others. 

For more information about Homeshare UK, please visit their website and make sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to keep updated with their work.

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