Meet our Shared Lives carers and hear what they have to say about the role.
“We’re privileged to step in and give that respite care. Jo’s such a treasure. She just became part of our family. I never thought I’d feel the fulfilment I did when I was nursing. But since I’ve been a Shared Lives carer, it really blows it out of the water because it’s such a privilege to share your life with these incredible people.
“If you’ve got love in your heart to share your home with someone, a good sense of humour, that’s all you need really. And you’re totally supported by the Shared Lives staff.”
“The best thing about being a Shared Lives carer is that you’re able to make a good friend of someone. Jo means a lot to me. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do in my life and it’s ticked a lot of boxes for me.”
“We take Shared Lives as a whole family commitment. We all see Sophie as part of the family. I was a little apprehensive about becoming a Shared Lives carer because I hadn’t worked with vulnerable adults before, but the support and guidance I had step by step throughout was brilliant. I feel really valued as a Shared Lives carer. The pay is really rewarding. The matching process is really careful and my opinion matters. I feel that my coordinator really cares about me and the family. I’m so passionate about Shared Lives and passionate about making a difference. It’s so rewarding to see Sophie enjoy her life and be given all the opportunities we give her. To see her smile and achieve is priceless.”
“Sarah’s been with us for nearly two years. Sarah needed somewhere to stay as a forever home. We’ve built such a great bond in such a short space of time. Sarah had been brought up in a family environment in a loving home and that’s what we wanted to continue to give her.”
“You’ve got a good support network around you and you’ve got the ability to commit to certain hours that work. You can balance life and work in equal measure. You can work a full-time job and still be a shared lives carer.”
“I think it works because we’re both a similar age. It doesn’t feel like I’m her carer. She feels comfortable going out with me and being seen with me because she could just be out with a friend. It enriches your life as well as somebody else’s. You’ve got this other person who will bring so much to your life as well as you giving your skills to them and helping them grow as a person.”
“To me it’s one of the best jobs in the world. I wouldn’t do anything else. I feel very emotional when I think of Dan’s progress. Shared lives is such a rewarding thing. We have so many laughs. We have so many experiences.
“When we decided to do this, we talked to our entire family about this. It’s a big family. That’s the way it has to work. Everyone has to be on board because everyone has a part to play.”