Case Study - Inter Generations Worcester
Inter Generations Worcester is a homesharing scheme set up as a partnership between Vestia Community Trust and the University of Worcester. Operating in Worcester City Centre, we carefully match up people aged 55+ who have accommodation but need support and companionship, with University of Worcester Students looking for affordable housing near to their place of study. This means that both the support needs of the older person and the housing needs of the student are met. There is no rent payable, instead the student provides 10 hours per week of help and companionship in return for their accommodation.
"I was looking for somewhere affordable to stay in Worcester whilst studying for my postgraduate degree when I heard about Inter Generations Worcester. I thought it would suit me perfectly, because taking part in the scheme meant in return for providing support to my elderly householder I would get to live for free in their house. I had my questions about getting along with someone I’d never met before, and it wasn’t like I was sharing a house with people of my own age or background. But in a short time we developed a strong bond of friendship based on respect, understanding and helping each other out, and this bond was not just with the householder but also with his family who live in other cities.
My householder’s wife died a year ago, since when his son and daughters would come to visit on weekends, and during the week he had carers coming to the house to provide support. He was very isolated as the nearest shop was 25 minutes’ walk away and due to the inabilities old age brings he would spend most of the time at home with no company.
Inter Generations Worcester evaluated both me and my householder separately and thought we would make a good match. They arranged an introductory meeting where we got on well, after which I moved to the house. Once I moved in, the IGW team were very supportive and would get in touch every week asking how I was getting along. I was confused at first as I have never provided support to any one before and I was not sure how this whole “home-sharing” was going to work, but as days passed we started adapting and understanding each other’s needs. We would eat our breakfast and dinners together, watch television, go for drives as my householder loves sightseeing, we would do shopping together and we shared the housework. The carers still visit during the day but the time they need to stay with him has decreased significantly.
Living in the Homeshare has immensely increased my sense of responsibility and my life is well planned because of my householder’s habit of having breakfast and dinner at an exact time every day. I have adapted to his habit of waking up early in the morning and going to bed early! It gives me much happiness and satisfaction to help him and his company is not only educative but also fun as it is a life time experience. The Homeshare has increased my understanding of English culture as I am living and experiencing it, and my English language fluency has improved. All this, plus I live in a very big house with my own study and rest space while only contributing towards a portion of the household bills.
None of this would have been possible without the Inter Generations Worcester scheme, and I can see first-hand how the project has benefited my life and that of my householder."
To find out more about Inter Generations Worcester:
Published - 04 Jul 2017