We’re excited to announce that the Department of Communities and Justice NSW has recently granted us $200,000 to support our HomeShare program.
HomeShare is a community-led response targeting isolated seniors and young people looking for safe, affordable housing in the Northern, Central and South-Eastern Sydney regions.
We believe HomeShare is important in addressing two important needs in our community right now and are looking forward to helping more people with the support of this grant.
For more details, read the full media release here.

Are you living alone? Have a spare room in your house? Are you seeking companionship? Do you have wisdom, skills & interests you would like to share? Holdsworth HomeShare might be perfect for you.

Holdsworth HomeShare matches older people who have a spare room and are living alone, with a younger person who will provide companionship in return for affordable accommodation.

Join us for a free live webinar with Nikki Cummins – HomeShare Coordinator to hear more about HomeShare.


For Sharers (students and younger people)

When: Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Time: 4:00pm 

Where: Online

Registration essential: Click here to RSVP


For Owners (seniors)

When: Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Time: 7:00pm 

Where: Online

Registration essential: Click here to RSVP

Did you know there is an exciting new opportunity funded by NDIS for your family member to have an Individualised Living Option to help them live in their own home and local community with support from Holdsworth Community HomeShare.

Our webinar will discuss Individualised Living Options and how Holdsworth HomeShare can partner with you and your adult son/daughter to match a carefully selected companion to live in, offering safety, security and companionship. HomeShare can also offer support to a parent concerned about securing safe affordable living arrangements for the future.

Join us for a free webinar: Thursday 04 February 2021, 6:30 pm. 

Registrations are essential, please find a link to the Webinar registration below and we look forward to meeting you and sharing more information about the exciting new Individual Living Options and Holdsworth HomeShare with you.

Please click here to register

Holdsworth Shutdown Dates

We will be closed from 5pm Friday 18th December 2020 to 8am Monday, 4th January 2021.

If you have any questions or concerns prior to the shutdown please contact us on 02 9302 3600.

Are you living alone? Have a spare room in your house? Are you seeking companionship? Do you have wisdom, skills & interests you would like to share? Holdsworth HomeShare might be perfect for you.

Holdsworth HomeShare matches older people who have a room to spare and are living alone, with a younger person who will provide companionship in return for affordable accommodation.

Join us for a free live webinar with Wendy Francis, Manager – Services for Older People and Nikki Cummins – HomeShare Coordinator to hear more about HomeShare.

When: Monday, 14 December 2020

Time: 5.30pm – 6.30pm

Where: Online

Registration essential: Click here to RSVP

Our 2020 AGM was held via Zoom this year and is now available to watch online! Click here to see highlights from a very challenging year with special guest speakers including Theresa Flavin – activist and individual living with dementia, who provides insight into her lived experience, and how we can all work together to create and raise awareness of dementia in our own communities. 

Check out the Aged Care and Ageing Well webinar by The Australia Institute, featuring our CEO, Ruth Kestermann.
Click here to view it now.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has only increased people’s determination to stay living at home,” Ruth Kestermann said. However, navigating the federal government system, My Aged Care, is complex.
“…we have seen is 65% of funding goes to residential aged care and less than 15% goes to Home Care Package’s. So really if you want to stay living at home, you’re competing for a much smaller amount of money.”
Programs, like HomeShare, respond to individual needs in the home. “I think we should all challenge ourselves to see how we can respond to higher needs in the home. With the right supports, with community nursing, those specialists out in the community, that can happen,” she said.

To our community,

An update for Holdsworth Community from our CEO, Ruth Kestermann.

I’m sure many of you have been following the NSW State Government’s regular updates for easing restrictions. We are eager to resume our programs while maintaining the safety of participants, staff and volunteers.

Following the NSW Department of Health advice, I am excited to announce the opening up of Holdsworth services in a new and more personalised way. Holdsworth’s biggest strength is our personal connection and individualised support. We will be focusing more on this approach by engaging with you individually in your local community. In addition, we will connect you with smaller groups of like-minded people in your local area to share more personalised experiences.

Our current services will now include the following small local groups, in addition to our ongoing individual supports in the community and in the home:

  • Indoor Playgroups and Baby Room; (Our playground is open again to the public.)
  • Afterschool and weekend NDIS activities;
  • Social gatherings and wellbeing classes for older people;
  • Limited bus and premises hire.

All our programs adhere to the strict hygiene guidelines required by the NSW Department of Health. Information about attendance, hiring conditions and hygiene protocols can be found here.

To ensure we continue to protect against the spread of Coronavirus in our community, our Gaden Café will unfortunately remain closed.

Please don’t hesitate to give us a call on (02) 9302 3600 if you have any questions or concerns.

Yours sincerely,




Ruth Kestermann

Holdsworth HomeShare is Thriving

A mutually beneficial arrangement matching older people who are living alone with a room to spare, with a person looking for affordable accommodation and companionship.

We are excited to announce that Holdsworth HomeShare is gaining strong momentum. Since launching in October 2018, we have received an overwhelming response; 120+ enquiries from Owners, 150+ from Sharers across NSW. We have now successfully reached 70% of our second year target matches! Philanthropic support has enabled us to launch this innovative service and now as HomeShare’s popularity and visibility expands, the it is growing to a sustainable scale. The more people we speak to across Sydney, the more we see how much still needs to be done. The number of older people looking for practical ways to remain living at home is astounding as is the wide cross-section of our society struggling to find affordable, appropriate accommodation.


The HomeShare Concept

The Holdsworth HomeShare service is a community led response addressing two of the biggest areas of social need facing Australian society – a housing affordability crisis and growing isolation amongst an ageing population.

The mutually beneficial arrangement allows older people (Owners) to remain living in their own home, while offering an affordable accommodation option for younger people looking for companionship (Sharers).

“When you have somebody living nearby, not with you all the time even, you feel less lonely. I feel more connected to my friends and family now. They’ve taught me to use my iPad and I can speak to loved ones regularly,” – Owner. 


Promoting the Idea

Throughout 2019 our focus was on raising awareness, interest and engagement in the HomeShare concept particularly with older people. Since our launch we have released a series of fictional stories about HomeShare entitled “The Spare Room”, Holdsworth HomeShare has featured across various media platforms including the ABC, Radio National, Channel 7 and The Domain. We have also worked closely with ABC’s Compass show to film a segment on HomeShare to air in coming months. “This a very important topic and we hope to reflect the values and integrity of the concept in our program, and for our viewers to discover the stories and personalities of the people involved,” Producer – ABC Compass.


Our Current Matches

We have current, ongoing matches supporting older people in their homes in Woollahra, Waverley, City of Sydney and Randwick LGAs. The Sharers range in demographic from overseas and local students to women who are in transition points in their lives and need an affordable way to stay close to family and work. We have seen incredible outcomes for both sides of these matches, with genuine friendships forming across generations and in their wider communities.

Our targeted promotion has supported our matches across Sydney and has put us on track to meet our current three year Business Plan towards financial sustainability.


What’s next?
We are committed to the continued growth of Holdsworth HomeShare! We believe Sydneysiders are becoming more familiar with the Holdsworth HomeShare service and the opportunities it offers to older and younger people challenged by life in our city. Our challenge is to continue to build our service further and continue to respond to the unique circumstances of individuals. We hope to be able to broaden our offering to support more vunerable women, refugees and migrants as well as people living with a disability.

Thank you for your ongoing support of Holdsworth HomeShare and our shared community!

Please share our news about Holdsworth HomeShare or refer people to find out more on our website https://holdsworthorg.wpengine.com/homeshare/ or email homeshare@holdsworth.org.au.


A word from our CEO, Ruth Kestermann.


Dear All,

Re: Royal Commission releases its Interim Report “Neglect”

You may be hearing a lot of comments and seeing media stories about aged care at the moment. This is because the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety delivered its Interim Report which they called Neglect.

At Holdsworth we think this report is very important and want to share its information with our participants, their families and our wider community.

The report proposes that the aged care system needs a fundamental overhaul to deliver the quality of care that older Australians and their family’s need with a renewed focus on compassion and kindness.

We at Holdsworth Community have zero tolerance for poor, inattentive care or any form of abuse of vulnerable people. We strongly believe that the instances of poor care and neglect exposed by the Royal Commission and in its interim report are not acceptable.

The Commissioners identified three areas of priority that require immediate action which we support:

  • Provide more Home Care Packages to reduce the waiting list.
  • Fix an over-reliance on chemical restraint in aged care.
  • Stop the flow of younger people with disability going into aged care.

If you have any concerns about the care you or your loved one is receiving, please contact us at Holdsworth Community. In the first instance, your queries can be directed to Holdsworth Community via Wendy Francis, Manager – Services for Older People, at wendy.francis@holdsworth.org.au or by telephoning 02 9302 3600.

If you prefer or feel more comfortable, you can directly contact the following agencies for advice and support:

Older Persons Advocacy Network: www.opan.com.au/advocacy or 1800 700 600

Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission: www.agedcarequality.gov.au; 1800 951 822 or info@agedcarequality.gov.au


Yours sincerely,

Ruth Kestermann



You can download a copy of this letter by clicking here.