Could you open your home to someone who needs your support?

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Shared Lives is a scheme run by Bedford Borough Council where people open their lives and homes up to support people from the age of 16 with learning disabilities. As a member of the scheme you will be paid to provide support from your own home or the wider community.

Joe, transferred into the Shared Lives scheme from foster care to help him gain independence, while still being part of a family. Joe is supported in cooking meals, household chores, money management and independently travelling as well as exploring social activities.

Chris and Maureen have been Shared Lives carers for the past 6 years, supporting Joe for nearly two years.

Chris said, “My wife, Maureen, came up with the idea of Shared Lives about fifteen years ago. I hadn’t considered the idea of shared lives as I wasn’t really the caring type and I didn’t know what to expect’

“It’s been a rewarding experience supporting Joe. His confidence has improved, and he now does his own laundry, and cooks independently. He came into his own when he used a recipe to make a lemon drizzle cake. Joe’s cake is truly superb and he’s justifiably proud of his signature dish.”

Are you patient, have empathy, a sense of humour and the ability to meet the challenges presented by everyday life?

Then you could be a Shared Lives carer.

Shared Lives carers can be individuals, couples or families. Each placement is tailored to the needs and requirements of the individual person, from hourly support to long-term places to live.

Cllr Wendy Rider, Portfolio Holder for Adult Services said, “We are extremely thankful to all our shared lives carers and proud of the life changing work they do. They are truly inspirational.”

If you are interested and would like more information call 01234 228426 07468472404, email sharedlives@bedford.gov.uk or visit www.bedford.gov.uk/sharedlives