Shared Lives Plus has been boosted by the recruitment of two new ambassadors in Scotland, Abby Farrell and (below) Heather Thomson, who will begin their roles in November. The two new posts were made possible with funding support from The Robertson Trust.
Shared Lives Plus ambassadors play a crucial role in helping to promote the values and benefits of shared living to commissioners, key decision makers and influencers, as well as organisations and partners in health and social care throughout the UK.
Whether speaking at conferences or attending meetings and events, their experience not only provides inspirational stories, but also emphasises the flexible and personalised nature of family-based Shared Lives care and the benefits it can achieve.
Both Abby and Heather will begin their new role by attending the forthcoming UK national shared living conference, where they will be keynote speakers alongside author Madeleine Bunting and Jennifer Wallace, head of policy at the Carnegie Trust.
Heather, who has lived in a Shared Lives arrangement with her chosen family for three years, commented:
“The reason I became an ambassador for Shared Lives Plus is to make a difference to others and to be able to listen to them, but also for them to listen to me. The thing I’m looking forward to most is people hearing my speech about kindness, but also hearing other people stories – it is all about sharing, that’s why it’s called shared lives. Also this this post is funded by an amazing charity called the Roberson Trust, which is a charity that helps underprivileged families.”
“I was ecstatic when I heard I had got the job as a Shared Lives ambassador. I really want to share my story because I want to get more people to become Shared Lives carers. Shared Lives is amazing and it has really helped me. It is really good for me to be able to have a job that I love and I would like thank the Robertson Trust for funding this.”
Alex Fox, CEO of Shared Lives Plus, said: “We are proud of the role our ambassadors play in helping to raise awareness of the safest and highest performing form of social care. Both Abby and Heather are extremely important additions to the team and we are looking forward to welcoming them and working alongside them.”