Gemma previously stayed with Gwen for only one night a week, so this was a big adjustment for them both.

Speaking about their time together, Gwen reflected:

"It's been fun and challenging. We've had to learn a lot about each other. Nothing stops Gemma. I've learned more from her than she could learn from me."

Having previously worked in a prison educating inmates, Gwen decided she wanted a change of career and looked to Shared Lives to continue making a difference.

Speaking about becoming a Shared Lives carer, Gwen added:

"I thought it might be something I would really enjoy."

Gemma, 23, is one of the three young that Gwen provides support for. Whilst Gemma has a number of health concerns, she hasn't let that stop her. A keen cook, Gemma is quite the whizz in the kitchen, loves to walk outside and is always up for a shopping trip.

"She loves to cook. We cook together more or less every day, which she is passionate about."

- Gwen tells us.

Gemma added:

"I love making pasta, pizza and sausage rolls."

When asked about what it is like being supported through Shared Lives, Gemma replied:

"I love it. It helped me with my mental state and my confidence in making choices. It has made me believe in myself."

Marjorie Newton Wright Awards 2022

We want to recognise, celebrate and reward our colleagues who demonstrate outstanding support, innovation, achievement and commitment to the people we support.

Please do take the time to nominate our fantastic staff and let them know how much you value the job they do.

Nominate today