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A Shared Lives carer is someone who opens up their home and family life to include an adult with support needs. Shared Lives carers come from all walks of life and don’t need qualifications or experience, just the right attitude and a willingness to truly share their lives with another person. Shared Lives carers are carefully selected and trained by a regulated Shared Lives scheme. They are paid a fixed amount, rather than an hourly rate and have access to preferential tax arrangements.

Shared Lives Plus is the membership organisation for Shared Lives carers and also Shared Lives schemes and Homeshare schemes. Our members want to know what we are doing and why. They also want to feel that we listen to them and act on their concerns.

The Shared Lives carer support team provide our Shared Lives carer members with resources, training, information, advice and one-to-one support.

They help to make sure that the voices of our Shared Lives carer members feed into and influence everything we do.

By listening to our members we get to know what is working and not working at a local level. Communication between members is vital and we support our Shared Lives carer members to talk to, support and learn from each other. By listening to the collective voices of our members we enable them to; shape the direction of our work, to influence national and local decision makers and develop a more personalised social care system.

I would like to become a Member

Fill in your application form (click here) and we'll be in touch! 

Being a Member means we’re there when you need it…

Our members tell us being a Shared Lives carer can be a rewarding experience as you see someone else grow and receive so much in return. With Membership of Shared Lives Plus you can use a range of support services to make life easier and know there’s back up when you need it. From tax returns to mortgage and legal advice – we’re there for you.

What is included in Shared Lives Plus Membership and how you can make the most of it in 2018:

Rama and Ris croppedPeace of mind

  • Helpline – confidential and free advice and support for any question about Shared Lives
  • “Ask the Legal Expert” - one hour of free legal advice from our legal partners, Jackson Canter, including benefits, debt, housing and general social care queries
  • Discounted help with tax returns
  • Keep up to date with laws affecting your role
  • Personal development modules enabling you to understand Shared Lives’ values, deliver support confidently and refresh your Shared Lives way of life
  • Mediation support
  • Free will writing service - new
  • Mortgage advice which understands Shared Lives carers’ self-employed income
  • Car, travel, house and contents insurance - (10% discount on your current insurers’ rates for the first year)
  • Free legal representation if criminal charges are made against you and legal advice to help you challenge de-approval (primary Shared Lives carers only).

Powerful voice

  • Stay up to date with Shared Lives across the UK – feel connected with other Shared Lives carers, keep up to date with best practice across Shared Lives Plus network through Sharing our quarterly magazine
  • Regional and national campaigns to promote Shared Lives

People like me

  • Log into the Shared Lives carers’ online forum
  • Free local, regional and national teleconferences to talk with other Shared Lives carers and ask our carer support team directly about issues affecting you
  • Meet others for support, friendship and fun. We offer practical support and advice to develop and maintain a Shared Lives carer group in your area.
  • Local, regional and national meetings and events
  • Free discounts on everyday shopping, holidays, products and services, food and drink and much more with our Wider Wallet scheme (see article)
  • Discounted entrance at Shared Lives Plus Annual Conference

Full membership also includes public liability insurance, so we can cover you for personal injury or property damage to a third person. Some schemes cover you automatically, but if not, you will need our full Membership to cover you. You can call us to check if you’re covered.

Discount for Joint Membership

If there is a second approved Shared Lives carer living with you, for example your partner, you will need Joint Membership so that you are both covered for any legal expenses or advice if an allegation is brought against the second approved Shared Lives carers. It’s only £10 more for full Membership or £15 for basic Membership, so make sure you’re covered and enjoy all the other benefits too.

What is public liability insurance?

When you care for an elderly or disabled person you may be legally liable, should someone suffer a loss or be injured as a result of the actions of the person in your care, or under your supervision.

Public Liability insurance protects Shared Lives carers from claims arising from personal injury or property damage to a third party as a result of alleged negligence on your part.

We have partnered with Towergate for many years as they understand the unique nature of family-based Shared Lives care and have developed a policy which provides effective and broad cover. Towergate’s Public Liability policies also include being sued by a service user for abuse cover for physical, mental or financial losses.

Wider Wallet – get discounts on everyday shopping, online, gift cards and vouchers

As part of your Membership of Shared Lives Plus, you can use Wider Wallet for free. It’s a website with lots of offers to save you money and includes online discounts, cashback offers, reloadable discounted gift cards and downloadable vouchers. For example, you can save 3% at Asda, 6% at B&Q, 7% at Bella Italia or 10% at Cineworld on cinema tickets. Register for free, simply click on www.widerwallet.com enter the code we will give you when you become a Member. 

Mortgage advice specifically for Shared Lives carers

You may have encountered problems with mortgage lenders when it comes to showing your income and been met with a lack of understanding about how you work as a Shared Lives carer. If this is the case, our new mortgage advisors, from Mortgage Brain, Katie MacLeod and Marcus Davis are here to help you whether you are a first time buyer, moving home or re-mortgaging. There is no fee for a consultation and it’s just £150 on application. Find out more about specialist advice for mortgage advice in the online Shared Lives carers’ forum on www.sharedlivesplus.org.uk. If you can’t remember your log in, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or ring 0151 227 3499.

New Membership benefit - free will writing service

Make sure the people you choose receive your assets

We’ve all put off that moment when we need to write or update our will – but by talking to advisors who understand Shared Lives carers, you can make sure the people you want to, receive your assets. When there is no will, the Government decide who inherits through the Laws of Intestacy – and in some circumstances, the law will say different people to who you would want.

Ashbrook Legal Services, our new partners, can help you write a will – it’s another peace of mind from your Membership that you can get free of charge and if you want to, you can leave a legacy to Shared Lives Plus and help our work continue. They will help you write a will for free, and then if you want any other services from them, they will show you the costs – but we’ve made sure there won’t be any hard sell. Ashbrook specialise in will writing and later life planning. If you want to find out more for no obligation, please get in touch This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0151 227 3499

Membership prices

The Membership fees are £99 for single Shared Lives carer Membership and £109 for the discounted joint Membership, both these include public liability insurance and all the benefits included in Membership.

We are committed to keeping the price of Membership as low as possible and for the last three years it has remained the same. We have recently negotiated the rising cost of insurance and included other benefits, such as free will-writing and Wider Wallet in your Membership.

For less than £2 a week, you’d more than cover the cost if you used just one or two of the benefits on offer - and have peace of mind for being a Shared Lives carer for the year.     

Full Membership for single Shared Lives carer     £99                                       

Full Membership for joint Shared Lives carers     £109                                     

Basic Membership for single Shared Lives carer  £60                                       

Basic Membership for joint Shared Lives carers  £75                                       

Shared Lives scheme Membership                   £150, plus £30 for every additional worker

Sensible stewardship

Around 20%, every one in £5 that we receive, comes from Membership fees and contributes towards the Membership offer for support when you need it. But, we spend almost £2.50 in every £5, 50%, of our entire income, directly on supporting Members. A further seven in £10, 70%, of our income comes from funding grants from the Big Lottery, NHS England, Nesta, Welsh Assembly and others which also contributes to Members’ support and enables us to grow and develop Shared Lives for more people. It also helps us develop advice and guidance for Shared Lives carers and schemes supporting people with diverse range of support needs.

 

To join Shared Lives Plus, please ring 0151 227 3499 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Wednesday, 09 May 2018 18:32

Meet your MP!

Written by

We have begun to send Shared Lives schemes the first parts of their Shared Lives Week packs. The full packs will include an assortment of newly designed materials such as posters, leaflets, cards, balloons and even Shared Lives rice paper for decorating cupcakes - all of which will be available for you to use as you celebrate Shared Lives Week locally.

But this first part of the pack is something a bit different. This year's theme is valuing Shared Lives carers, and we want to raise the profile of the amazing role that Shared Lives carers play amongst politicians. This is also an important part of building political support for our related campaign: fairness for Shared Lives carers. We want MPs to meet the Shared Lives carers that live and work in their constituencies. So as the first part of the Shared Lives week packs, we have created a postcard for you to fill out and send to your local MP, inviting them to meet you.

The postcards will be arriving to you through your schemes soon. When you receive your postcard - simply fill it out and send it to your MP. If they reply, you could be in with a chance of being a guest at our parliamentary receptiion at the House of Commons, on Wednesday June 20th! 

If it is more convenient, you can also arrange to meet your MP locally. 

 

Thursday, 26 April 2018 14:26

Members newsletter 26 April 2018

Written by

Dear Shared Lives and HomeShare members,

Welcome to the latest bi-weekly members newsletter, your source of information about the latest developments in the world of Shared Lives and Homeshare.  Read on to learn about:

GDPR – don’t be locked out!

We recently sent out information about a new law – GDPR – which means you need to actively opt-in to be able to continue receiving data from us. We haven’t had many people reply to us yet – please do so and give your consent to contact you by Friday 25 May -  or we will no longer be able to contact you!

Shared Lives week resources

The date is set for Shared Lives week – Friday 15 - Sunday 24 June, and so is the theme: ‘Valuing Shared Lives carers’ Schemes and carers all around the country will be taking part in the Great Shared Lives Picnic and other events to celebrate the amazing role that carers play and demonstrate that they deserve a fair deal.  We are re-designing older information leaflets and creating new resources to make up a pack of materials for you to use. Please request the materials you need from us – schemes that don’t request a pack won’t get one!

Fairness for Shared Lives carers

A key part of valuing Shared Lives carers is making sure that you are treated fairly. Part of that is ensuring that you get the support you need to share your life – to be able to take breaks, receive backup in an emergency and develop your skills and knowledge. These things and more are outlined in the Shared Lives charter – the result of a consultation we did with carers to find out what a good Shared Lives scheme should look like. We are offering free support for trailblazing schemes to work with carers to adopt their own version of the charter. Scheme members – please get in touch if you want to take advantage of a day’s support This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

Fair pay campaign

Fairness for Shared Lives carers also means being paid fairly – so we are campaigning for Shared Lives carers pay to be considered as part of wider social care pay reviews. In order to do this we will be lobbying ministers, MPs and Local government commissioners, explaining the amazing work you do and showing that you deserve it! We all need to work together to do this – carers, schemes and Shared Lives Plus. We need your input:

Scheme members – do you have examples of times you have successfully campaigned for carers’ pay increase?

Carer members –  can you tell us a time (big or small) when you showed that Shared Lives above and beyond a typical 9 – 5 job?

Carers teleconference reminder

The next teleconference is Wednesday 16 May.  The teleconferences are a great way of discussing issues and ideas in more depth, with fellow Shared Lives carers and our carer support team. If you’ve not joined before – it can seem complicated, but our carer support can show you how simple it is!

Mental Health Awareness Week – film launch

Mental Health Awareness Week is from the Monday 14 Sunday 20 May. The week is about acknowledging and checking our stress – and how we cope with it. At Shared Lives Plus we have made a film about the positive effects Shared Lives can have on mental health for people being supported. Of course. Sharing your life can improve the wellbeing of Shared Lives carers too! We will be launching a brilliant short film, featuring some inspiring people sharing their lives on, the Monday to support Mental Health Awareness Week. Watch this space!

Shared Lives on Swansea Radio

Our new development officer in Wales, Kathryn Morgan, was recently interviewed by the editor of the Wave radio station in Swansea. This was part of a wider, and award-winning, campaign called ‘Don’t Dance Alone.’ This campaign is designed to highlight the endemic loneliness in Wales amongst older people – and to promote ways of tackling it. Kathryn explained how Shared Lives and Homeshare are perfectly positioned to do this. To listen scroll down to the clip titled ‘Swansea Sound Headlines Apr 17 2018 13:00 (BST)’ and skip to 2:23.  #DontDanceAlone

Photography competition

We are still keen to get photos of your shared lives – selfies and group shots of you out and about, having fun or just your ordinary routine at home. Now that the sun has finally made a few appearances, we’d love to get photos with a spring theme! Send us your snaps, and we’ll feature them in our newsletters, website and other materials.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this latest roundup of the latest developments in Shared Lives. As always we’d encourage you to get in touch and share your views with us – they are crucial to us as your membership organisation.

Until next time,

Phoebe Rowell and Michael Kazich, Shared Lives Plus communications team

join carer forum

Got a Question? 

Ask Shared Lives Plus

Contact our Shared Lives carer support team

Contact the Team who will be happy to help you.

Lyn Griffiths 

Support and Engagement Manager

Phone: 07551 154 936
Email: lyn@sharedlivesplus.org.uk

Emma Hill
Shared Lives Carer Support and Development Officer

Phone:07391 418 533
Email: emma.hill@sharedlivesplus.org.uk

Helplines

The Helplines


Shared Lives Plus runs a number of helplines designed to help our members. All of them are FREE to Shared Lives Plus members.

Shared Lives Plus Office 0151 227 3499

Shared Lives Carer Support and Development Worker 01772 723677 (Judith Holman) 

Legal Advice Helpline (Jackson Canter) 0151 5410240
 
Benefits Advice Helpline (Jackson Canter) 0151 5410240 

Friends of Shared Lives Plus

Friends of Shared Lives Plus are people who want to keep touch with or support the work of SharedLivesPlus and its members, but who are not actively involved in Shared Lives or Homeshare. Many Friends of SharedLivesPlus are retired or former Shared Lives carers or Shared Lives scheme workers, but membership is open to anyone.

As a member, you can expect:

  • Four Shared Lives Carer newsletters a year via post.
  • An email group and message board to make it easy for members to contact each other and to communicate with the Shared Lives Plus team.
  • A voice with local, regional and national decision makers and a programme of awareness-raising about Shared Lives and the work of Shared Lives carers.

To join, please call us on 0151 227 3499

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