Wakefield Council is showcasing how people can use their spare time to do more of what they already do and enjoy, just with company, by becoming a Shared Lives Carer.
Carers support someone ‘matched’ to them from their own home, who shares the same interests, hobbies, type of lifestyle, and sense of humour to ensure the best fit and experience all round.
The level of support needed varies and can include providing a sense of belonging and community, emotional and physical support, or helping with day-to-day living.
Cllr Maureen Cummings, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Poverty and Health, said: “This is a fantastic service which helps adults to learn, develop, and make choices, with the support of our Shared Lives Carers.
“We are looking to recruit more carers from all communities across the district for long term, short breaks, and day support, and I’d encourage those interested to get in touch and find out more.”
It is widely accepted that Shared Lives provides the most person-centred and positive outcomes for the people involved, but nationally the service accounts for just under 1% of total long-term social care in the UK (Source). In Wakefield there is a high level of demand for the service.
Andrew, a service user who benefits from Shared Lives, said: “I like to go shopping and on dog walks with my Carer. Shared Lives helps me to be independent.”
Joanne, a Shared Lives Carer for Wakefield, added: “It’s a great feeling in helping people be part of your family and being able to give your time and knowledge to help them fill their full potential.”
Becoming a Shared Lives Carer doesn’t have to be a full-time role either, as it’s flexible around the time people can give and their lifestyle – whether that’s an occasional evening, weekend, or a longer-term option. Plus, no experience is needed, and full training is provided.
If you’re interested in finding out more about a rewarding role with Shared Lives – both financially and emotionally – visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/sharedlives or contact the team on 01977 722254.