Wakefield Council is celebrating dedicated Shared Lives carers and the people they support during Shared Lives Week (14 – 21 June).
This year’s annual event has the theme of ‘resilience’ which recognises that many Shared Lives carers have gone above and beyond the call of duty to carry on providing the best care to those they support.
The Council’s Shared Lives Service supports adults with additional needs to develop independent living skills and make choices within a family home.
Wakefield district Shared Lives carers are this month sharing their stories on social media – to celebrate their rewarding role and the difference they make to others.
As the service can’t host their usual tea party due to COVID-19 restrictions, they’re celebrating differently this year – by sending personalised tea bags and ‘thank you’ cards to all the carers and their service users, so they can have a ‘cuppa’ and reflect on the excellent work they do from home.
Cllr Maureen Cummings, Cabinet Member for Communities, Poverty and Health, said: “We are so proud of our Shared Lives carers and we’d like to raise awareness of their incredible skills – and to encourage others who are interested in these roles to find our more.
“No two carers are the same and they all deserve to be recognised and celebrated!”
Cllr Cummings added: “Being a Shared Lives carer can be very rewarding and can bring a lot of happiness to people’s lives. If you have, the time in your life, a genuine desire to support others and space in your home, and a spare bedroom, it’s worth finding out more.”
Shared Lives carer Holly King, says she would recommend the role to others: “The best part of being a Shared Lives carer is seeing the person/persons you are supporting grow within themselves to achieve things in their lives – whether it be a day to day task or a dream they have wanted to carry out.
“It is the most rewarding job I have ever done, I can’t ever see myself doing anything different.”
She is also full of praise, for the support she receives, adding: “You get so much out of been a Shared Lives carer and the support by the Shared Lives team is excellent.”
Shared Lives carers need a spare room in their home and a willingness to support someone with a learning disability, physical disability, mental health need, or needs which come with growing older.
The service works by matching the person needing support with a Shared Lives carer, recruited from the community, who can give them the support they need.
If you have a spare room and have a genuine desire to support adults with care needs, then please get in touch. No experience is needed as full training is given. Shared Lives carers receive a payment for the support they provide.
Call 01977 722 254 or visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/sharedlives to find out more about Shared Lives.