Shared Lives Week – 11-19 October 2014
SHARED LIVES CARERS TO SHOW HOW INNOVATIVE SUPPORT APPROACH IS HELPING 12,000 PEOPLE LIVE GOOD LIVES ACROSS THE UK – AND LOOKING TO DOUBLE IN SIZE
Shared Lives Week is here to celebrate and raise awareness of the amazing work Shared Lives carers do across the UK.
The theme for Shared Lives week 2014 is “Living Good Lives” and across the country, Shared Lives schemes will be illustrating how the Shared Lives approach to support can transform the lives of many older, vulnerable or disabled adults. Shared Lives is a radical form of care that centres on sharing home, family and community life, in supporting older and disabled adults to lead fulfilling and active lives. Uniquely, it enables people from all kinds of backgrounds to draw on their families, friends and neighbours in supporting some of our most isolated and vulnerable citizens, using the Shared Lives carer’s own family home.
Shared Lives not only gives people entering into a Shared Lives arrangement the chance to be part of a family, rather than other forms of care that can lead to a feeling of isolation, but also to be part of the wider community. Shared Lives is helping thousands of people with learning disabilities, mental health issues and older people, live more fulfilling and independent lives across the UK.
People living in Shared Lives arrangements often enjoy more fulfilling lives as a result of Shared Lives, with recent research showing that over 90% made new friends as a result, half going on holiday for the first time, and over a quarter of users joining a club not exclusively for disabled people for the first time in their lives.
Shared Lives Plus will be also be premiering a short film about Shared Lives at their first ever Parliamentary Reception in the House of Commons – featuring Lorna and Graham, Shared Lives carers from Bedfordshire to highlight how the Shared Lives approach is supporting the young women that they share their life with.
Shared Lives Plus recently received funding from the Big Lottery Fund and Nesta to try and double the size of Shared Lives across the country over 5 years – and throughout Shared Lives week, events will be taking place to help spread the word, recruit more Shared Lives carers, and make people aware that Shared Lives could be the right option for them.
Alex Fox, Chief Executive of Shared Lives Plus said:
‘Whilst most social care services retreat, Shared Lives schemes up and down the country are telling us that they are ready to support more people. Our research shows that if we can achieve our goal to double the number of people supported within Shared Lives arrangements, people won’t only get good, safe support, but nearly all will make and keep new friends as well. We hope people will hear about Shared Lives this week and get involved through getting in touch with their local scheme or contacting us at sharedlivesplus.org.uk.’
For media enquiries or to arrange an interview please call The Communications Team on 0151 227 3499 or Tim Moore on 07881 521269.)
2. Shared Lives Plus is the UK network of family-based or very small scale care, support and inclusion approaches for physically and mentally disabled people or older people. We have 8,000 carers who are members of Shared Lives Plus in the UK, with 12,000 people being supported and 150 Shared Lives schemes across the country.
3. In Shared Lives, an adult (and in some cases 16 or 17 year old) who needs support and/or accommodation moves in with or regularly visits an approved Shared Lives carer, after they have been matched for compatibility. Together, they share family and community life. In many cases the individual becomes a settled part of a supportive family, although Shared Lives is also used as day support, as breaks for unpaid family carers, as home from hospital care and as a stepping stone for someone to get their own place
4. The State of Shared Lives in England 2014 mapped the performance of Shared Lives schemes across the country and highlighted that if all schemes matched the level of the best £150m per year could be saved.