James and Andy, from Hertfordshire, were filmed by ITV at the Ware Country Market, where they run a café each Friday morning. The café is part of the work that their company called ‘Local Social’ does to help people meet friends and get out into the community.
James says, ‘I felt a bit scared to start with but once we got going it was like doing one of my talks, as a Shared Lives Plus Ambassador, or just working at the Market’.
Andy and James have been in a Shared Lives arrangement for eight years and they talked about how their relationship has flourished and all the things that they do together around the country and locally. James’ health is much better now and that he can get up in the morning because of all the different things he has to do.
Andy’s life has changed too. New challenges, new ways of working, all of which he enjoys immensely. Best of all is seeing how James is happy and confident in doing things for himself and able to engage people with his wonderful smile.
Bronte, the dog that James helped the family choose, couldn’t be missed out. She goes almost everywhere with Andy and James and she got in on the filming too.
On the filming James says, ‘I enjoyed doing it and hope that it will help other people see how amazing Shared Lives can be. It’s changed my life.’
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“‘I enjoyed doing it and hope that it will help other people see how amazing Shared Lives can be. It’s changed my life.’”