We love shared lives!

Published Tuesday, 10th February 2015

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Southend families who love being involved in Shared Lives are spreading the word about it, in the run up to Valentine’s Day.

Shared Lives Carers and service users are sharing the love on Thursday 12th February as part of a national drive to encourage more people to consider joining this vital scheme.

Shared Lives Southend (formerly known as Adult Placement) offers people with extra needs an alternative and highly flexible form of accommodation, care or support inside or outside the home.

It is a unique kind of social care where ordinary households share their lives, families, home, interests, experience and skills with other people who need some support to live their lives to the full.

As part of the national promotion, those within the scheme – carers and service users - are being urged to tell another person why they love it, by speaking with friends, neighbours, colleagues, even with people in the checkout queue, or by sending a social media message.

Executive Councillor for Adult Social Care, Health and Housing, Councillor David Norman said: “Shared Lives is a very important way of helping people with extra needs to share in the community and take part in family life.

“We are very privileged to have Shared Lives carers so ready to join this scheme and share their homes and lives with those who benefit so hugely from this opportunity.

“We hope that this latest campaign to coincide with Valentine’s Day will help celebrate what is already being achieved by those involved in Shared Lives Southend, and will prompt others to consider taking part in it too.

“Service users can live in the Carer’s own home or stay for short breaks and placements can be from one night up to several months – or can include day support with a carer.

“It really does add immeasurably to their quality of life. Shared Lives Carers are recruited vetted, trained and supported by the Shared Lives Scheme.”

Here are the views of three enthusiastic Shared Care service users:

Mandy said: “I like shared lives.  I go out in the car to the zoo, cinema and music man.  I like painting and making key rings.  I like going out for lunch and to the shops.”

Becca said: “I like art and clay.  I like to use the computer and I like printing papers and I like to come and see Annette.  I like going to the shops.”

Amy said: “I like being with Annette because she listens to what we all want to do plus she makes sure it’s fair for all of us.  Annette has been lovely to me and the others.  I like doing shrink art, sharing jokes and making soft toys.”

If you would like to find out more about taking part in the Shared Lives scheme, please contact Adult Social Care on 01702 215008.