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Date published: March 15, 2024

Shared Lives and Homeshare in England receive their biggest government funding boost yet

  • DHSC are releasing £20m to support people in adult social care – and more than 20 health and care areas have chosen to invest in Shared Lives and Homeshare across all seven regions of England
  • Around half of Shared Lives schemes in England are in areas that will receive some funding to grow and reach more people
  • Minister for Social Care, Helen Whately launches the Accelerating Reform Fund, with a visit to Shared Lives carers in Oxfordshire


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This week, the Shared Lives and Homeshare sector will receive their biggest funding boost yet from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

The Accelerating Reform Fund, with a total of £42.6m given to local areas, will in half the areas, offer the opportunity for more disabled people who draw on social care, to live everyday lives in their local community, with Shared Lives carers, and for more people to live affordably and sociably, supported by Homeshare organisations.

Around half of Shared Lives schemes across England will receive funding to grow and develop their support for people with a learning disability, dementia, young people leaving care, unpaid carers, and people leaving hospital.

In addition, several areas have chosen to start or develop Homeshare organisations, who match someone who would like company and a helping hand around their home, with someone who wants to live sociably and can offer ten hours of support a week.

One such area is Oxfordshire, where minister for social care, Helen Whately, marked the launch of the Accelerating Reform Fund this week with a visit to a Shared Lives household.

The brand new Accelerating Reform Fund has been released by DHSC to enable local areas to invest in innovative forms of social care and support: Shared Lives and Homeshare were listed as two of 12 that regions could choose from. Of the 42 integrated care areas (ICBs), Shared Lives Plus can confirm that at least 22 areas have chosen to focus on growing Shared Lives or Homeshare.

It comes after the continued success of Shared Lives Plus, UK membership charity at raising the profile of Shared Lives and Homeshare nationally, and builds on their reputation as experts in growth and increasing the range of people that Shared Lives carers can support.

Shared Lives Plus, the UK membership charity for Shared Lives and Homeshare, CEO, Ewan King says,

“We are delighted that, thanks to DHSC funding, more people who draw on social care need will have the opportunity to experience the life-changing experience of living or regularly visiting a loving home, in their local community.

The innovative beauty of Shared Lives and Homeshare is that people choose to visit or live with each other, based on personal interests, lifestyle, as well as their support or care needs which can range from older age, learning disability, to mental ill health, dementia, carer’s respite, young people leaving care, or those who need an interim home after being discharged from hospital.

We know that when local areas invest in more staff, support for carers and resources, they increase referrals and raise awareness.

We look forward to working with those leading the way to release growth of these services aligned to the needs of their local communities, where Shared Lives is rated by inspectors as the safest and best quality form of social care available.

We also expect the cost savings to benefit local areas in the long-term, as well as strengthen communities with the wrap around support which makes services which encourage loving relationships like these so powerful.”


Portsmouth City Council, Director of Adult Social Care, Andy Biddle adds,

“We know that Shared Lives arrangements have the potential for person centred care and support and a settled environment for our residents.

Through being part of a family and community, they can support people’s good mental health and wellbeing. Being able to meet people’s needs, maintain local relationships and support our Shared Lives carers in providing this person centred care is a great opportunity and one which we are happy to grow and invest in.”


Notes to editors

About Shared Lives Plus

  • Shared Lives Plus promotes supportive shared living through Shared Lives care and Homeshare with local and national governments.
  • We believe everyone should be able to choose who they spend time with – and do what matters to them. We want to reduce loneliness and help make our communities more connected.
  • Our members are 6000 Shared Lives carers, over 140 Shared Lives schemes and a growing network of over 20 local Homeshare organisations.
  • We offer guidance, best practice, a community of people sharing their lives, legal advice and insurance.
  • We also work to diversify and establish new Shared Lives and Homeshare schemes.

About Shared Lives

  • Around the UK, 9,000 Shared Lives carers open their homes and hearts to someone who needs support after hospital treatment, for mental ill health, dementia, learning disability, older age or for young people leaving care. Shared Lives care is consistently rated the best quality and safest form of care across the UK.
  • In Shared Lives, a young person or adult who needs support is matched with a carefully approved Shared Lives carer, by their local Shared Lives scheme. Together, they share family and community life. Half of the 10,000 people using Shared Lives move in with their chosen Shared Lives carer to live as part of their household; half visit for day support or overnight breaks. People get safe, personal care and support, in a place which feels like home. They make friends and become more active.

About Homeshare

  • In Homeshare someone looking for help around the home is matched with someone looking for affordable accommodation, tackling loneliness and housing issues in one solution.  There are around 200 people matched in Homeshare arrangements across England and Wales.

The Shared Lives Membership Network

Shared Lives care is delivered locally through registered Shared Lives schemes who recruit Shared Lives carers and match them with adults who need support. Shared Lives Plus supports Shared Lives schemes and Shared Lives carers by providing advice, networking opportunities, and training.

We also offer a national perspective on Shared Lives for our members, the wider social care sector, and local, devolved, and national governments.

Our supporters

We are supported by the NLCF (National Lottery Community Fund), The Rayne Foundation, RS MacDonald, Ageing Grand Challenge/Tribe, WCVA, The Cora Foundation, Awards for All, and The Pears Foundation. The Welsh Government Grant Scheme for Voluntary Organisations have also invested in scaling up Shared Lives.