Make a difference – become a Shared Lives Carer

​Ref: PR 5084
Date: 15/10/2015

Wakefield Council is looking for people to care for adults in their own home this Shared Lives week.

National Shared Lives week takes place next week (19 to 25 October). The Council's Shared Lives team will be at Carlton Lanes Shopping Centre on Monday (19 October) from 9am to 5pm so that residents can find out more about the service.

The Council's Shared Lives Service supports adults with additional needs to develop independent living skills and make choices within a family environment and more carers are urgently needed.

Shared Lives Carers need a spare room in their home and a willingness to support someone with a learning disability, physical disability, mental health needs or needs which come with growing older.

The service works by matching the person needing support with a Shared Lives Carer recruited from the community who can give them the support they need.

Cllr Pat Garbutt, Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: "Shared Lives is a service which is very important to the community and provides essential support to those with additional needs who would like to live either permanently or on a respite basis in a home environment.

"Being a Shared Lives Carer can be very rewarding and can bring a lot of joy to people's lives. If you have a genuine desire to help others, the time in your life, space in your home, and a spare bedroom, it's worth finding out more."

Marie has been a Shared Lives Carer for 14 years. Marie said: "I was a foster carer for a young girl and when she was due to leave care I couldn't imagine my life without her and she didn't want to leave. So I joined shared lives and have never looked back. I have since taken on other long term and respite placements.

"It really does help give your life a purpose." Marie added. "The job is so satisfying, knowing that you can help someone get into a routine and put a smile on their face. And there's never a dull day – they always cheer me up and are just as caring back."

Shane hadn't thought of becoming a carer until he met Marie. He said: "It is life changing – for the better. I would recommend it to others. It's very rewarding. There are many adults that need a good quality of life, so if you can offer that get in touch with the team to find out more."

Shared Lives Carers receive full training and on-going support, and no experience or special qualifications are needed.

Carers will be paid an allowance for the support they provide and these placements can be either short or long term.

To find out more about becoming a Shared Lives Carer visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/SharedLives, email sharedlives@wakefield.gov.uk or call 01977 722254.