Shared Lives

Shared Lives Open Event: A Great Success

Shared Lives Open Event: A Great Success

The event was held in the newly built Berith Hall in Stourbridge last Wednesday. Recently recruited Kate Morgan, Registered Manager who has over 10 years’ experience of working in the Shared Lives sector, said "The evening was really positive, as not only did it celebrate National Shared Lives Week, but it was a great opportunity for the general public to come and find out what Shared Lives is all about. We explored the process of how to become a shared lives carer and support a person with learning disabilities, mental ill health or even early-on-set-dementia from within an ordinary family home on a long-term or respite basis.

The model is not only a financially viable alternative to hospital or complex residential care, where care packages can cost upwards of £300 per night, but people are known to lead longer, healthier and happier lives when matched to live with a Shared Lives Carer in the community. We even had a couple come over from Walsall wanting to work with CVT on this new initiative. We showed a touching short film, where a family were supporting three ladies with complex needs and also heard from a local carer who shared her 20 years’ experience of supporting someone from within her own home. To finish off, we also heard from our newest carer, who gave account of the assessment process to those that attended.

Sadly, Shared Lives is still not every day speak at the moment, but we are gradually getting there. We often describe it as a bit like ‘foster care for adults’ as it creates a starting point for everybody. We currently have four sets of carers signed up already, with at least another half a dozen people wanting to find our more. We are confident we will exceed our target of six sets of shared lives carers by the Autumn, even though the assessment and training process can take up to 3 months before you are approved. You can be paid up to £600 a week with tax relief, depending on the level of support you provide to the person who comes to stay. We can’t wait to get going properly with Dudley MBC and start to match the people who need support with our new Shared Lives Carers, as that is where the work really begins. If people are interested in finding out more about becoming a Shared Lives Carer for CVT, they should visit our website at: www.cvt.org.uk/sharedlives then call Dean Barnshaw on 07984 896010, who will arrange to visit and speak about the process further.”