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Shared Lives Plus Governance Changes 2022

The Shared Lives Plus Board have completed a full review of the governance of the organisation over the last 3 years, to ensure that the structure in place is right for Shared Lives Plus for the future.

The review identified where changes were needed and the Board have discussed and agreed 2 key changes to improve the overall governance:

  1. a risk-focused Board, with trustees having key roles in monitoring the key risks and opportunities associated with the Shared Lives Plus strategic plan.
  2. a more inclusive representation of Shared Lives Plus members and people who use services through a small number of membership councils, whose chairs will sit on board, and which will more actively advise and liaise with Shared Lives Plus’s senior team on the operational issues which matter most to members.


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Your Voice membership forums

We have set-up 3 Your Voice forums (one for Shared Lives carers, one for Shared Lives Schemes, and one for Homeshare) with quarterly meetings, the first of which took place in January 2022. The meetings are virtual, with a Chair who sits on the Board.

The initial forum Chairs were nominated by the Board for a period of 1 year (4 meetings), they were chosen from a shortlist of existing trustees who have experience of chairing meetings.

For this reason, Richard Jones (chair of the board of trustees) chairs the carers forum and Martin Ewing (deputy chair of the board) chairs the scheme forum. We are finalising arrangements for the Homeshare forum in May 2022.

We feel this adds a deserved weight to the initial meetings. It echoes the board’s commitment to the process.



Recruiting and supporting future forum chairs

The next steps now the forums are established is to implement a vote for new chairs for the forum, offering (where needed) some facilitated sessions/training on being a Chair plus some on-going external support in first 12 month in post (some pre-meeting and meeting support, including coaching/mentoring of the Chair/Co-Chair).

We feel a good process for this is for a type of hustings to take place at the 3rd forum meeting for any candidate to explain why they feel they want to do the role and why they are the best candidate. The candidates will then speak to the board in an informal interview, with the top 3 going to the members vote for selection.

We feel that the new chairs of each forum should then join the board as trustees; fulfilling our commitment to our members being part of every decision made.

Each chair will hold the position for a year – but can be re-elected for a maximum of 3 terms.

The wider Shared Lives Plus team will provide support, both administrative and with communications, and all members of SMT will attend all meetings to answer questions and hear the issues that are affecting schemes and carers.





Network support alongside Your Voice

Carer Group

The existing Carer Groups and Cuppa for Carers will continue as they are which may be a good way for the Chair to link to Carers for agenda items. Shared Lives Plus will manage the communication channels to members to comply with GDPR.

Scheme Group

We expect the existing Nation meetings for England, Scotland, Wales and NI to remain in place, with a clear agenda of sharing good practice, discussion and providing detail to the Chair of Your voice for agenda items – but this decision sits with the committees themselves.

The regional Committees would remain as peer support, communities of practice, and their role and how they wanted to feed into the Your Voice groups would be determined by the regions. Members would be able to feed in directly themselves, and to ask regional chairs to feed in issues on their behalf, as they wished.

Homeshare Network Group

The existing Homeshare Network groups will remain as they are.

Next steps - Board and trustee changes

It has been agreed that new trustees are recruited for their skills and in line with the risk register’s identified risks – making the Board more risk-focused

This will of course impact some existing trustees and there is a plan for the transition, particularly as recruitment may take several months, with recruitment staggered to avoid unbalancing the board, and starting from Spring 2022.

All posts will be advertised in both the national press and through Shared Lives Plus website and communication channels.


A working group of trustees has been set up to work on this element of the changes. If you wish to feedback re the first forums that we held in January or to suggest changes, or just share your views you can email the Board of trustees via