“Shared Lives changed my life”


Andrew, 25, diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, was left without a home at the age of 17 after his parents were unable to continue providing the level of attention that he required.

We tried various options such as residential, supported living and independent living but these were all unsuccessful. Last year, Andrew agreed to another, the Shared Lives scheme, and that was a win.

“Since I moved in with Debbie and her family, I’ve had a great improvement in my life. I feel comfortable and at home,” he told us.

“I’ve become more responsible, my communication skills are better and I feel like I have become a member of her family. I’ve gone on to achieve my best ever grades at college and I feel my outlook on life is so much better now.”

Just before heading out to Florida during the summer with Debbie and her family on his first ever overseas trip, he got the good news that he passed his Access to Higher Education Diploma in Healthcare. Last month he proudly entered university to study for his BSc in Nursing.

Debbie, who has been a Shared Lives carer for two years, supports Andrew at her home in Castleford.

“Becoming a Shared Lives carer is the best thing I’ve ever done. Andrew has become my friend and it’s wonderful to see how much he has grown in confidence since he came to live with me. My role is to offer support and encouragement and to allow him to gain independence at a pace he feels comfortable with,” she said.

“The Shared Lives service are always on the other end of the phone if I need them and they are always checking in to see how we are getting on. Every day is different and it is such a wonderful thing to be involved in.”

He also now regularly visits his parents and has days out with his brothers and sisters.

Our Shared Lives service is always looking for more kind and dedicated people to care for adults in their own homes.

The scheme supports adults with additional needs to develop independent living skills and make choices within a family home.

Shared Lives carers need a spare room and a willingness to support someone with a learning disability, physical disability, mental health needs or needs which come with growing older.

Shared Lives carers receive a financial allowance of up £581 per week based upon the needs of the person being supported. No experience is needed as full training is given. 

If you are interested in becoming a Shared Lives carer, please call 01977 722 254 for more information.

The Shared Lives service was rated as ‘outstanding’ in caring by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) earlier this year, whilst other elements such as the responsiveness, effectiveness and leadership of the service were all rated as ‘good’.