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Shared Lives carer champions here to help

Seven Shared Lives carer champions, funded by the Ellerman Foundation over the next three years have joined our team, offering more regional support to our members.

Our Champions are all current Shared Lives carers, and have a wealth of experience, not only in providing Shared Lives in their communities, but in a variety of other areas too, and their commitment and enthusiasm for Shared Lives is infectious, in a good way!

Our Champions will be working across the regions of the England and Wales primarily. We hope to expand into Scotland and Northern Ireland in the not too distant future. They will not be ‘working’ as Champions when it comes to their own schemes, to avoid confusion. Some are already involved in carer groups and working with their schemes.

Here are Champions, who will be championing the work of Shared Lives carers around the nations:


Victoria Silver, Northern & North East England, Wednesday is my main working day, 07387 108790, @vicsharedlives

I am a mum with a grown-up daughter and enjoy life in beautiful Yorkshire with my partner and two dogs where I juggle providing respite breaks with working in a SEN School and acting as an advocate.

I became a Shared Lives Carer because I am passionate about great care and helping people to speak up to achieve their rights.

Before Shared Lives, I held a range of campaigning, research and public affairs roles including Head of Communications at the UK Drug Policy Commission and Volunteering Matters, responsible for external relations and campaigning.  I have also served as a Trustee at Age UK and CAB.


Steve Collis, North Wales, 07387 418741,

I live in Colwyn Bay, next to the zoo where I share my home with three people and five dogs!  I love my Shared Lives carer role, both the challenges and the satisfaction I get from seeing people grow in confidence and independence.

I am a keen advocate of carers, passionate that we should be recognised as experts in what we do – supporting people when they need it most.

I am not afraid to speak up on issues so do please contact me or any of the other Champions and we will do as much as we can to support you.


Rose Giannotti, South Wales, 07384 891681,

Hi everyone, I am an active dual registered carer – fostering and Shared Lives which I love equally for the quality of life they bring.

I am an organized, involved, practical person who likes to be busy. I dislike bullying, lies and seeing people not being treated well because they cannot advocate for themselves.

I am a chatter! I like to talk, I also like to listen, and I like to learn. People are important to me; I like to see and make people happy and if I can help, I will.

To unwind I like to walk and run, and when I am indoors I love my computer and Sudoku.


Andy Cooke, Southern and South East England, Thursday is my main working day, 07764 469349, @andydcooke

After a successful career in teaching I became a Shared Lives Carer in 2010 when I and my family began sharing our lives with James.

We all live in Hertfordshire sharing Bronte the dog, who accompanies us almost everywhere we go!

James is also a Shared Lives Ambassador, and we often work together both nationally and locally. We founded ‘Local Social’, a CIC which supports people and communities to connect. Bronte is training to be a Dogs for Good volunteer!

I’m an active member of TLAP, a Trustee of the local CVS, and I am training to be a LeDeR reviewer. I am excited to join the team and would be delighted to hear from you.


Helen Piscioneri, London, Friday is my main working day, 07921 057300,

I have been a carer at Shared Lives Greenwich for 28 years. For the last 24 I have cared and looked after 3 people, who along with my husband (of 31 years!) and my daughter are very much part of my family.

Being of Italian descent, family is very important to me. Whether socialising, eating together, holidays, days out; my family are always around. This of course includes my 2 gorgeous dogs, Jack and Bella.

My work is something that I am very passionate about, and I am excited to be taking on the role of carer Champion for London. I am looking forward to meeting carers around this area and providing as much support to you as possible.


Charlotte Hall, Northern and North West England, Tuesday is my main working day, 07387 108781, Charlotte

I live in West Yorkshire with my husband and the two amazing adults we support. I have worked within the caring sector since leaving school and becoming a Shared Lives carer was a natural progression.

As a champion I aim to provide peer support whilst also changing perceptions of shared lives as a concept. I believe that all adults in need of support should have Shared Lives as an option and I want to help make that happen.

As a Shared Lives carer I feel in the ideal position to promote what we do and the impact this can have on the people we support.


Sarah Bannon, Southern and South West England, Monday is my main working day, 0738 489 1680,

In my early life I was in foster care and lived around a family member with mental health problems which unknowingly gave me a very good grounding in care from several perspectives.

I went on to have a varied career in both public and private sector management. I became a Shared Lives carer in 2014 after the CPN of a friend I’d been supporting through a diagnosis of schizophrenia suggested it to me.

I now live with two lovely ladies in Southampton where we enjoy a busy home and social life.

I love my role supporting people, watching them develop and flourish and I’m passionate about our support for carers which is why I applied for the role of Shared Lives Champion.


We hope, over the course of the project, to see our Shared Lives carer support; particularly peer support, grow locally, regionally and nationally, not only supporting you to do what you do, but to get the word out there about Shared Lives and to see schemes; people who use Shared Lives, scheme staff and Shared Lives carers, continue to develop and support people in our communities.

We know that you will make them welcome and we really look forward to seeing all that we can achieve together.

If you would like to find out more, perhaps invite a Champion to your next event or scheme meeting, then please, in the first instance, get in touch with Emma Hill 07391 418 533.