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Town, Sea and Country – Shared Lives on Holiday

Welcome to our new holiday page! We are delighted that many people are taking the opportunity to take holidays with Shared Lives carers. It might be in your local area, off to enjoy country life, a seaside holiday or to see the sights of the big city! Shared Lives carers offer a safe and supportive home environment and an enjoyable holiday experience.

We have found that many holidays are happening within schemes and between schemes and we have documented over 200 holidays last year (2014) We want to make it a choice available to all our service users. So we are reviewing the documentation, encouraging new schemes to join, and providing support to work out any issues. We want to make the summer of 2015 our most successful ever!

Holiday makers! – Service users can check out the holidays on offer by using the map to look for the location and holiday they want. At present they need to be using a Shared Lives scheme to use the holiday service. They can be long term or short breaks service user. Holiday carers support individuals with varied needs, some carers can support friends or couples and carers to holiday with their family member. Family carers can access holidays on behalf of their family member

Shared Lives carers –can offer to host holidays or support their service users to access a holiday with another carer. Your scheme will need to be a member to enable you to be a holiday carer, which just means your scheme need to contact Shared Lives Plus and register. 

If you then want to offer holidays you will need to complete a carer profile for placement on our holiday page. The profile form should be obtained from and returned to your scheme. Some simple paper work, a support plan, a contingency plan for emergencies and contact needs to happen before the first holiday. Many first holidays go onto become regular bookings.

Schemes – Schemes will need to join if you want to offer holidays or use other schemes for holidays. A user guide is provided here to help answer any questions about the process.  We are supporting several schemes to run pilot schemes this summer with sister schemes, ask us if you are interested. We intend to make the process simple, safe and accessible to minimise the workload for scheme workers and maximise usage of the service.

Shared Lives Plus support this service by registering members, linking up schemes, keeping the page up to date, answering queries and sharing stories. Denise Nygate can be contacted by email at denise@sharedlivesplus.org.uk mobile 07867452160 and for registration and carer profiles forms contact rhona@sharedlivesplus.org.uk

 pdfA simple guide to help you to choose your holiday pdfHoliday Handbook User Guide

 pdfHoliday Brochure

Comments from holiday caregivers

  • ‘They need to bring enough money so they can enjoy their holiday, need to work out what is covered including caregivers meals if we go out often’
  • ‘I like to give a person a day or two to settle in and find out what they enjoy. One young man did not even want to unpack his case!
  • ‘Holiday carers know all the best spots to have a good time! We have season tickets’
  • ‘Holidays are different. They are about giving someone a good time’
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HOLIDAY STORIES – Share your holiday experiences here!


August 2015

Geoffrey visits Suffolk!

In August 2015 Geoffrey from the Ealing Shared Lives scheme went on Holiday to Suffolk to stay with Sally and Brian. The fortnight was packed full of activities.
Geoffrey’s visit took in Thorpness, ships at Felixstowe, Ipswich Museum, and Framlington Castle. Ice Creams were shared, walks taken and there was even a trip to see the BBC Concert Orchestra!

Geoffrey experienced the camper van lifestyle – along with the family dogs, ate fish and chips and drank tea in the open air, and overall a fantastic time was had by all.
Catherine from Ealing Shared Lives scheme tell us that “Geoffrey had a lovely time with Sally and Brian. His carer said he keeps talking about his stay in Suffolk”

You can read the full story and look at the holiday snaps in this document here. Geoffreys_holiday.pdf


June 2015 

Joe Waring is a holiday carer in Norfolk, who with his family support up to nine different individuals each year, mostly from the London borough of Wandsworth. Most people come several times a year and sometimes with a friend.
Joe wrote about two people who come for holidays.

June, who is 52 years old, comes to stay 6 or 7 times a year, having first come about 6 years ago. She sometimes comes on her own, and sometimes with a friend. She is very close to her mother and brother, and I think she likes being part of another family: myself, my wife and our 18 year old daughter. June’s mother is also reassured that the care for June focuses on her individual needs. June is very sociable and has a great sense of humour. She loves meeting our friends either at our house or theirs, and having a laugh, sharing stories and food and, I’m afraid, sharing a glass of wine, too! We go out every day to somewhere of interest in Norfolk, either in Norwich, where we live, in the nearby Norfolk Broads countryside, or to the coast. June particularly likes seeing the horse she recently “adopted” in a local horse sanctuary, and going to the amusements at Great Yarmouth. June always brings enough money to buy presents from Norfolk for her family and friends back in London.

Jack has also been coming to us for about 6 years. He always brings a pool cue and enjoys going to the local ten-pin bowling alley to bowl and play pool. He has been beating me at both for all of those 6 years, and I’m getting a bit tired waiting for his luck to run out! Jack especially likes our dog, Daisy, and volunteers to join us walking her every day. Like June, who he sometimes comes with, Jack is very sociable and always wants to meet our friends and family. He will sometimes help prepare a meal for a dinner party, and likes to dress up for the occasion in his best clothes. Jack likes going to museums- there are some great ones in Norfolk- and has recently gone a couple of times to the local cathedral to light a candle in memory of his father. Before he first did this, Jack had never gone into a church since his father’s funeral 10 years previously. Although Jack usually stays with a friend, he always comes on his own a few weeks before Christmas, when he buys presents for all his family, and wraps and tags them all carefully before taking them home.

Thanks Joe for sharing the stories and offering wonderful holiday experiences