• How much is it to Join? +

    As a carer you can join for as little as £60!

    If you would like to join as a Shared Lives Scheme then do get in touch with us for further information on Pricing

    To join simply email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details.

  • How do I join as a carer? +

    To join as a Shared Lives carer, you must be currently approved to provide Shared Lives care by a registered Shared Lives (or Adult Placement) scheme in the UK.

    Shared Lives carers make their home available as a resource and may provide Shared Lives support to up to three people at any one time (some Shared Lives schemes have a local limit of two people).

    Unlike care homes, Shared Lives carers do not employ staff to provide care to the people who they support. You can join as an individual, or with your partner, if s/he is also a Shared Lives carer.

  • What should I expect as a member? +

    As a member, you can expect: - Use of the free Shared Lives carers’ confidential helpline where you can obtain information advice and support from a dedicated national Carers Development Worker.

    - FREE legal expenses cover (up to a maximum of £25000) if you have an allegation made against you as a Shared Lives carer resulting in you being taken to court and/or your Scheme is seekingto de-approve you as a carer.

    - Free access to a legal helpline which you can use for advice on any relevant legal issue.

    - Public Liability Insurance at a preferential rate as well as access to other insurance provision developed to meet the needs of Shared Lives carers.

    - Three Shared Lives carer newsletters a year via post, which keep you up to date.- The opportunity to meet or get in touch with other carers, including through meetings, telephone conferences, an email group and a message board.

    - A members-only area of the website containing resources which are free to members

    Access to a wide range of toolkits and resources at members-only prices.

    - Access to our annual Shared Lives carers’ breaks and conference.

    - A conference for your home nation and/or for the UK, with a limited number of places for Shared Lives carers at supported rates.

    - An open invitation to attend national network meetings (and regional meetings in England).- At least one seat on the board of Shared Lives Plus for an elected Shared Lives carer.

    - 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.

  • How do I pay? +

    You can pay via cheque, bank card and credit card.
  • 1

FAQ

Questions and Answers


Salary: £37,650 to £40,653 (pro-rata for part time)
2 Permanent Positions. 1 Full Time (35 hours) & 1 Part-Time (17.5 hours)
Closing date: Sunday 10th March 2019
Area: London

Team Coordinator
Salary: £35,229 - £39,961 p.a.
Closing Date: 18 February 2019

Home Brewery, Sir John Robinson Way, Arnold, Nottingham, NG5 6DA

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Join our lottery for £1 a ticket and we raise 50p straight away!
We want more people to hear about Shared Lives and support us to keep doing the amazing work supporting our Members, so we have joined Unity Lottery who help raise money for our charity. For every £1 ticket supporters buy, we receive 50p. The other 50p is split between the prize money and Unity’s admin costs. 

If you would rather give us 50p every week instead of joining the lottery, please ring 0151 227 3499 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we’ll soon have a donate button on our website!

The Unity Lottery draw takes place every Saturday, and each ticket gives players the chance of winning one of four fantastic prizes. Each entry costs just £1.

How do I buy lottery tickets?
You can set up a lottery subscription which is the easiest way to ensure you’re entered into the draw each week,  Or you can phone Unity who run the lottery for us and thousands of other charities, on 0370 050 9240 to buy a ticket by cheque/credit card.

What can I win?
The Unity lottery prize structure is based on a 6 digit number match, in the correct sequence, as follows:

3 digit match = 5 entries into the next draw
4 digit match = £25
5 digit match = £1,000
6 digit match = £25,000

Can I choose my lottery numbers?
These are chosen randomly and will be your numbers for the duration of your membership of our lottery. When you enter the lottery, you will be sent your unique numbers.

Can I have more than one entry?
Yes. Each £1 entry buys you one ‘chance’ of winning in the lottery. In accordance with our commitment to responsible gambling, we offer a maximum of 20 entries each month per person.

£1/week = 1 chance to win and 50p goes straight to Shared Lives Plus

£2/week  = 2 chances to win and £1 goes straight to Shared Lives Plus

£3/week = 3 chances to win and £1.50 goes straight to Shared Lives Plus

What are the odds of winning a prize?
The odds of winning any prize in Unity is 1 in 63. Everyone in Unity has an equal chance of winning, no matter which charity they support or how many players that charity has. This is one of the main benefits for us of joining a scheme like Unity.

Can you guarantee the lottery is fair?
Yes, every entry has an equal chance of winning, and the winning numbers are drawn at random. It could be you!

Gamble responsibly

To speak to someone about a gambling problem contact the Gamble Aware confidential helpline on 0808 8020 133 or visit their website www.gambleaware.co.uk for further information.

Buy a ticket and donate money to charity!

If you would rather donate to us - please use the button below! Thank you!

Donate now

For questions about the lottery or your lottery membership, please call the Unity Lottery Helpline: 0370 050 9240 (Mon – Fri 9am – 5pm)

DerekToday is the launch of NHS England’s action plan for universal personalised care and we wanted to show how you can use personal health and care budgets to turn your life around with community support from local families who are Shared Lives carers, as an alternative to residential care.

Here Derek from Bolton talks about having a nervous breakdown, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and then being sectioned. Bolton Shared Lives scheme offered a more flexible care and support service, so he was able to live with a Shared Lives family instead of going into residential care. He is now on the way to turning his life around and no longer needs his anxiety medication.

“I used to be the main carer for my mum and I was working at this time but then she moved into a residential home and so I decided to move out too. I got a flat of my own in a different part of Bolton.

“After moving, I began having problems with my new neighbour. This upset me a great deal, but I didn’t feel able to tell anyone about it. My family were really worried about me and knew something was wrong but didn’t know what. They took me to A&E as I was having some problems with constipation; the doctor there noticed I had a bruised eye and started questioning me. I finally revealed that my neighbour was abusing me financially, physically and emotionally. As a result, A&E contacted the emergency duty team at social services. This is when I first heard about Shared Lives. I thought I would feel safer living with other people so I decided to go and live with my nephew and agreed to having short breaks with a Shared Lives carer family.

“After a couple of weeks of staying with my nephew and his beautiful family, I became really unwell and suffered a nervous breakdown. My family were really struggling and couldn’t cope so I was admitted to a care home for older adults. I continued to feel unwell and completely shut down.

I wouldn’t talk to anyone, wouldn’t eat or drink, or maintain any eye contact with anyone.

I was told I was suffering from PTSD which unfortunately made me aggressive, so I was sectioned and was admitted to a psychiatric ward at Royal Bolton Hospital.

“When I started to feel better, I was discharged from hospital to a residential home. I was starting to get better but residential care didn’t really suit me and I was still frightened of living on my own in case it happened again.

“My social worker talked to me about what the different options could be and talked about the idea of Shared Lives for a long term arrangement. I was introduced to a Shared Lives family and I liked the idea of living with them as it was in an area of Bolton I wanted to be in again. This has really helped me.

“I am now very happy and settled with the Shared Lives family I live with. I have a fear of living alone and going through mental ill health again.

But by living with a Shared Lives family it means I can do my own thing but they can keep an eye on me too. Being part of family life has been so crucial to my recovery and I feel so much more confident, happy and outgoing.

“I used to take anxiety medication but I don’t have to take it now. I get to spend plenty of time with my family, going on caravan holidays and going out. My life is so much happier and more active now. I’m not quite ready to live on my own yet, but I’m getting better every day and will be able to do so one day soon.

“Shared Lives have been very supported all the way and have involved me in the whole process, including a say about who the long-term family were. Residential care was not right for me and Shared Lives was a different way of living that suited me better and is helping me to get better.”

With thanks to Bolton Shared Lives and NHS England

Wednesday, 30 January 2019 12:07

Shared Lives in Scotland annual report 2017-18

Kim and Bill Paisley Cornerstone Sarah.McPhailcornerstone.org.ukWe are delighted to be able to share our executive summary report about the incredible growth of Shared Lives in Scotland over the last year.

The report provides a statistical breakdown of the number of Shared Lives carers and people being supported, as well as information about the demographics of support needs and different types of Shared Lives arrangements.

But behind the statistics, it tells the stories of real people whose lives have been changed by being supported in a Shared Lives arrangement, like Kym who lives with Bill, Shared Lives carer and his family (pictured right).

Over 2017 - 18 there has been:

  • 13% increase in the numbers of people using Shared Lives over the 12 months to 31 March 2018: 435 now, up from 380. 
  • The number of older people supported within Shared Lives has more than doubled to 200, up from 93 
  • 15 Shared Lives schemes in Scotland with 321 people working as Shared Lives carers in Scotland, a 14% increase.
  • Savings of £3.9m to the public purse last year. If every partnership matched the work in Fife then there would be over 1,000 people supported in Scotland with annual savings to the public purse of over £12.1m.
  • 72% of schemes receive a rating of Very Good or Excellent from the Care Inspectorate, and none received a rating lower than Good.
  • Glasgow City Council started a new Shared Lives scheme and five more partnerships are considering the same.

Read the executive summary 

If you would like support to develop a Shared Lives scheme, please contact Ben Hall, Scotland Development Manager, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 07392 313 501.

Scotland out to sea websiteWe commissioned this research to illustrate the impact of Shared Lives Moray's work with older people living with dementia and their family carers in Scotland, including information on the use of self-directed support.

It shows evidence of Shared Lives’ positive impact on people's wellbeing when they are living with dementia:

  • ongoing connectedness to people's communities
  • increased emotional wellbeing
  • delay moving into residential care.

"Shared Lives is helping me stay well enough long enough to prevent my wife going into care" family carer, Moray

Download the report

With thanks to funding from the Life Changes Trust, funded by The Big Lottery, now known as The National Lottery Community Fund.

For more information, please contact Ben Hall, Scotland Development Manager, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 07392 313 501

Monday, 14 January 2019 13:14

Vacancy for Shared Lives officer - Reading

Directorate of Adult Care & Health Services - Shared Lives Scheme

RG4 (scp 21-28 with gateway at scp 25) £20,541 to £25,463 per annum
Ref: ADC0312
37 hours per week, permanent

Thursday, 10 January 2019 14:32

Finance Officer

Shared Lives Plus is recruiting for a new Finance Officer

Salary: £29,423 (pro rata) - £17,892 (actual)
Hours: 22.5 per week
Location: Shared Lives Plus Head Office Liverpool
Duration: Permanent


An opportunity has arisen within Shared Lives Plus for a confident, self-motivated Finance Officer to support all aspects of the charity’s work and development through the provision of strong financial assistance.  Shared Lives Plus is the UK network for Shared Lives and Home Share. Our members work on a small scale or in their own family homes, helping older and disabled people to live good lives in a place they feel they belong. 

Key purpose:

Working as a member of a small team, the Finance Officer will work closely with the Finance Director and the Operations Manager on all matters regarding financial management, planning, control and reporting.

The role will include but is not limited to:

Ensuring the accurate maintenance of the financial records on Xero for the charity in order to provide timely and relevant information.

Assisting the accurate production of grant reports and budgets for grant applications

Manage and reconcile the bank and key balance sheet control accounts.

Assist in the management and reporting of VAT

Assist with the formulation and implementation of policies and procedures relating to the finance of the charity.

Assist with the production of budgets, financial plans and other such financial information as deemed required to manage the charity.

Assist with compliance to all statutory responsibilities including filing with the Charity Commission.

You will be energetic, resourceful, resilient and able to work on your own initiative.

Shared Lives Plus is committed to equality of opportunity for all staff and applications from individuals are encouraged regardless of age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief and marriage and civil partnerships.

If you think you have what we need please visit our website for an application pack.

For further information please contact Lynette Barlow, Finance Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Deadline for completed applications 12 noon 21st January 2019

Interviews in Liverpool – January 2019 (date tbc)

Finance Officer JD & PS January 2019 in Word

docApplication Form in Word713.5 KB

docAdvert95 KB

 

Thursday, 20 December 2018 15:42

Thank you for offering health support!

We are calling time on our project working with NHS England, seven schemes and local CCGs (clinical commissioning groups) earlier than planned. Many Shared Lives carers support people with health needs already, and the project has resulted in some very positive examples of Shared Lives being used effectively by the NHS for people with conditions like brain injury, and who faced additional complex needs which meant that traditional NHS services were not working.  

However it has been difficult to get the NHS to use Shared Lives as a new type of service to the level we hoped it would. We’ve asked independent reviewers to find out how Shared Lives works and hasn’t worked for people with health needs, and potential and current Shared Lives carers, and we will make this available next year.

We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who’s worked so hard with NHS colleagues to create new ways of helping people with their health. Find out more.

Whilst this specific pilot project has come to an end, we are continuing to work with NHS England so that more people can stay or live with a Shared Lives carer as they manage a long-term health condition or while they recover their health, like Christina, who had breast cancer and used Shared Lives to return home.

Thank you to everyone who has been involved, we’ve all learnt a lot from it and look forward to growing Shared Lives for health with many more people in future. For information, please contact Emma Clarke, Assistant Director for Health and Development This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,  07392 313 503

Thursday, 20 December 2018 15:20

Learning to just get on with it

8514 sharisse and johnIn our latest blog, Alex Fox, CEO reflects on the highlights of 2018 and we wish a happy Christmas and a peaceful new year to all our members!

Learning to just get on with it

A few weeks ago we took part in an event called Social Care Future, organised by a group of activists who had decided that rather than asking as they did every year for more people with lived experience to be at the ‘official’ social care conference, they would put on their own event! With virtually no budget, over 12 months of planning it went from some grumpy tweets to a two-day, two-venue event for hundreds of people. The final session took people with lived experience into the official conference for a standing-room-only session to share ideas between the ‘fringe’ and the mainstream.

I have a personal reason for remembering this event fondly: it started with an inclusive theatre group, MixIt performing a musical based on my book. That’s is not a sentence I ever imagined writing! In it, people who use services imagined a social care future in which they had ‘escaped the invisible asylum’, are in charge and living the lives they wanted with people they chose. Just as happens in Shared Lives now.

But I think the event felt significant for everyone who took part. We are still in the minority of organisations who often attend events with our Ambassadors and others who share their life. In the health, social care and charity worlds, we still think our job is to challenge those in power to do things differently, rather than to do what the organisers of Social Care Future did. They organised the event they wanted, and then invited people with power to meet them on their own terms.

With politicians fighting amongst themselves and continuing delays to the social care Green Paper, and the NHS Long Term Plan, I think this is a wider lesson for our sector.

Fed up of waiting for the ‘official’ Green Paper, the Local Government Association published its own - with Shared Lives highlighted as the future. Our members constantly demonstrate the power of ‘let’s just get on with it’.

I have so often heard people with learning disabilities or other support needs frustrated that they can’t do something they want to do, because it has been so hard to get all the right people’s permissions. Shared Lives is designed to get the right people involved and give them as much freedom as possible to get on with life. We will never invent a service which solves loneliness, but hundreds of older people are now choosing to share their homes with younger people through Homeshare (which often helps with younger person’s loneliness as much as the older person’s). With this BBC film being viewed 25 million times, the appetite for bringing people together with shared living has never been stronger.

But this year has not always been easy for us. We have faced funding uncertainty, and we are relieved to be ending the year with much more financial stability and certainty for the coming years than we entered it. This funding is also mirrored by councils across the country who want to work with us to deliver their high ambitions to grow and develop their schemes in number and quality. We helped Greater Manchester set itself the UK’s most ambitious target: to grow its Shared Lives provision to 15% of learning disability support, amongst other areas we’re working with to grow and develop schemes (enjoy and share our feel-good Birmingham Shared Lives advert).

This year saw more than 900 people using Shared Lives as a health service, and leaders in the NHS have seen how powerful it can be - such as the head of a brain injury unit who found Shared Lives could support two people (film) who could not otherwise engage with their existing services. But we also learned just how hard it can be to persuade busy NHS clinicians to use a new kind of support, including people moving home from hospital (film). We worked with SCIE, Think Local, Act Personal and Nesta to develop models of whole-system change which set out how people and organisations in a local area can combine Homeshare, Shared Lives and other community models into a whole new care and support system, rather than waiting for the existing one to change, including for young people (film).

We did all this while supporting and advising over half of the UK’s 10,000 Shared Lives carers, and nearly all the UK’s Shared Lives and Homeshare organisations. We provided individual advice to hundreds of Shared Lives carers, helping members to organise and campaign as local groups, such as the Shared Lives carers we helped to negotiate an invaluable first pay rise in their area in many years. Our first UK carer recruitment drive raised awareness with celebrity support, we wrestled with benefits challenges around universal credit, helped local organisations to measure and demonstrate the outcomes of their work, and worked with peers to address a proposed change in legislation which would have inadvertently caused huge problems for the Homeshare sector, just as it is starting to take off. We will never invent a service which solves loneliness, but hundreds of older people are now choosing to share their homes with younger people through Homeshare (which often helps with younger person’s loneliness as much as the older person’s). With this BBC film being viewed 25 million times, the appetite for bringing people together with shared living has never been stronger. In the nations, there was governments announced investment into Shared Lives for the first time in Northern Ireland, as well as scoping of Homeshare, and we continued to grow and diversify the model in Wales and Scotland (podcast).

The coming year will be a time of change for us, including changes to our team, a rebrand and a new website. Our resources remain limited despite generous support from our members, governments and charitable supporters. But, whatever happens at government level, we learned this year the power of getting on with it, and creating our own more social, more caring future.

Thank you to all our members and supporters for everything you do to help us and more importantly to help thousands of people to live happier, safer and fuller lives.

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