This week is Shared Lives Week, which aims to recognise all of the great Shared Lives Carers out there and shining a light on the great opportunities that Shared Lives schemes bring to the people we support. To celebrate this, each day this week we have been sharing stories about some of our brilliant Shared Lives Carers in Warrington and the people they support. In case you missed it, here they are…
Val is a Shared Lives Carer who started off supporting people during the daytime. She was able to offer 3 days and so has been supporting 3 different women on these days. Val says:
“I have loved meeting the ladies and getting to know them. One lady is really into pottery and so from doing that with her I have learned a new skill and met new people. Another lady loves shopping so you will often see us looking for bargains in Birchwood. Another lady enjoys art and colouring and we have been volunteering at the John Holt together.”
Val has a spare room so is able to offer respite to the women occasionally. It was really important to her that she properly got to know the person before they stayed.
“I enjoy the company and it’s great to be able to go out but also be at home with the person and introduce them to my cats!”
Barbara is a yoga teacher and found out about Shared Lives as she teaches yoga to some of the people we support. Barbara was able to help when Tracey’s mum became unwell suddenly and Tracey needed somewhere to stay. Fast forward 9 months and Barbara and Tracey are really enjoying each other’s company. Barbara feels that her life has changed for the better in so many ways.
“Tracey is such an angel! I love her living with me and am proud of the things that I have helped her to achieve.”
David supports a man through Shared Lives during the daytime and together they are volunteer gardeners.
“I feel like I am making a difference and giving something back. I really enjoy supporting Dan to garden and helping him develop new skills. The aim is that he will be able to get a job gardening by himself in the future”.
David and his wife have also supported two young men who lived with them for a few months each before moving on to more independent living.
“It was good to help get him sorted; help him learn to budget, cook from scratch and organise his time. It was good for us as a family to include him and make him feel part of something.”
Pat and Jeff
Pat and Jeff started with Shared Lives by offering respite to a young man every other weekend. They have a caravan and enjoy supporting people to go camping with them as well as exploring car boot sales and arguing about the football! They were able to offer a home to Katy when her mum passed away.
“Katy is part of the family and loves being part of what we do whether it’s BBQs all together, going to Zumba or just chilling out with a film and popcorn. I used to be a support worker and Shared Lives works better for me because it means that I am doing what I love but from my home. It’s as if I have another member of the family.”
Lauren has a young family and was looking for a job that was flexible and meant that she could work from her home. She was matched with Gaby who quickly became part of the family. Lauren supports Gaby two days a week, and they go to a music group together and for coffee. Gaby loves picking up Lauren’s kids from school, reading with them and playing with the baby. Gaby loved visiting Lauren’s grandparents and had a shared love of music with them. Lauren says:
“We’ve been matched so well and get on with Gaby and her mum as if we have always known them. Gaby is important to my whole family.”
Could you help support someone when they need it? All you need is a spare room in your house and some spare room in your heart! We make sure that we match people who have things in common and make sure you have plenty of support to make it work for you! Get in touch with our Shared Lives Manager, Kathryn Yates, by emailing email@example.com