Home Health Could you share your home to change someone’s life?

Could you share your home to change someone’s life?

by Cathy Sheel

This Shared Lives Week (14 – 20 June) the team from Knowsley’s Shared Lives Service is asking ‘Could you share your home to change someone’s life?’

The scheme, which recruits carers to provide home-based care for disabled adults, older and vulnerable people needing support, is appealing to Knowsley residents to become Shared Livers carers.

There are lots of ways people can get involved with Shared Lives – by offering a permanent home to someone, or short break support to give permanent carers a break. Carers will receive payment, extensive training and 24/7 support.

Both families and individuals of any age can get involved with Shared Lives – which offers a great opportunity for anyone looking for a new challenge, or maybe approaching retirement.

Linda and her husband Joe became Shared Lives carers two years ago and care for two young men with learning disabilities. She said: “Being Shared Lives carers has completely changed our lives. I am so happy I feel like a different person. I couldn’t have children, so before we only really had ourselves to please, but becoming a Shared Lives carer has made me feel complete, we have become a family. 

“We have had a few ups and downs but with the support from the scheme we have worked them out and I wouldn’t change a thing. Our two young men have both given us so much in return and we go to places – like the Safari Park and New Brighton – we would never have gone before.  

“Our Shared Lives worker visits us regularly and helps us with any problems we have, the two men love it when he visits. I have recommended the scheme to my friend who has just been approved and I would recommend the scheme to anyone.  The scheme is so professionally run – I can’t fault them.”

Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care Cllr Louise Harbour said: “Shared Lives Week is a great opportunity to thank all of our Shared Lives carers for the amazing work they do, especially over the past year – and to encourage more people to get involved with the scheme.

“For many adults placed with carers, this will be their first experience of being part of a loving family and having the independence to live a fulfilling life in their local community. Becoming a Shared Lives carer is incredibly rewarding as you know you are making a difference to the lives of some of our most vulnerable residents. I’d encourage anyone who is interested to get in touch, and we will support you every step of the way.”

If you’re interested in getting involved in Shared Lives, contact 0151 443 2060.

Join the celebrations for Shared Lives Week

Shared Lives Week is an annual campaign run nationally by Shared Lives Plus to celebrate the best of Shared Lives and show gratitude for the amazing work of Shared Lives carers.

The theme of this year’s campaign is ‘resilience’ and will recognise how all Shared Lives carers have gone above and beyond the call of duty to carry on providing the best care to those they support.

This year, instead of the usual coffee mornings, Shared Lives Plus is encouraging Shared Lives families and supporters to venture outside and have a picnic in the open air.  To find out more and register for a picnic pack visit The Big Share page, and for information about what’s going on locally, or online, visit the Shared Lives Week events calendar.

Knowsley’s Shared Lives Service is hoping to restart its coffee mornings again soon once restrictions are fully lifted. In the meantime, the team is asking carers to send them any photographs that reflect their lives during Lockdown or any activities they’ve taken part in during Shared Lives Week.

Photos can be emailed to knowsleysharedlives@knowsley.gov.uk and please state if you would be happy for them to be featured in a future newsletter. Shared Lives Plus is putting together a photography exhibition on its Facebook page capturing what life has been like for Shared Lives Families over the past 12 months and is asking people to vote for their favourites.

The national charity is also launching its annual awards scheme on 14 June and is inviting nominations for its Outstanding Shared Lives Carer of the Year award. For more information visit Shared Lives Plus Awards 2021 – Shared Lives Plus