Two women have become best friends through their home sharing agreement despite their more than 50-year age gap.
Christine Rahman, 29, and Margaret Smith, 83, have lived together in Hither Green for 12 months.
Home sharing is where a young person who needs an affordable place to live moves in with an older person, who needs a little extra support around the home.
Share and Care Homeshare is a company that matches older people who have a spare room with younger people who are looking for affordable accommodation.
Ms Rahman said: “I had just left a job and was dipping into my savings, I didn’t want to move back into the family home and instead needed an affordable place to live.
“I was also at a stage where I wanted a new adventure. Share and Care Homeshare organised for me to meet with Margaret and visit her home – it had so many books.”
As rent and housing prices in London increase, many young people are struggling to find a place to live.
The younger person also provides 15 hours of help around the home each week, from collecting the shopping to cooking or spending some time sharing a drink and a chat.
Ms Rahman said: “My first impressions were that she was very articulate and very friendly. I also met her daughter, and really liked her, too – she reminded me of my mum.”
Ms Smith lives with Parkinson’s and is registered blind.
She said: “I was intrigued by the idea of having someone to come and live with me because being in the house on your own is quite difficult.
“I used to just sit and watch black and white TV. She’s such a lively person and she has insight into the outer world which I don’t live in anymore.”
Ms Smith speaks fluent French and Ms Rahman comes from a French speaking background so they frequently speak together in the language and even watch French news.
Ms Rahman said: “My parents moved to the UK in the 1990s from overseas, so I didn’t grow up with grandparents around me.
“It’s so nice to step into this world and have a different perspective – to get an insight into Margaret’s life and experiences.
Ms Rahman also loves to cook, she has introduced Ms Smith to roasted butter nut squash, oxtail, and okra which she had never tried before.
She said: “We come from vastly different backgrounds but there are many things that we relate to, deep conversations, and lovely food being just a few of them.
“It’s hard to imagine what life would have been like if we hadn’t crossed paths.”
Pictured top: From left, Margaret Smith and Christine Rahman (Picture: Christine Rahman)
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