• 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


Questions and Answers

Tuesday, 11 December 2018 09:51

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MacIntyre are looking for a Frontline Manager - Shared Lives - Central Bedfordshire

Full Time (38 hours a week)
Salary: £26,142 a year
Ref: ASIV360597

MacIntyre is a national charity supporting people with learning disabilities and last year we were awarded a new contract to run the Shared Lives scheme in Central Bedfordshire. Could you be the lynchpin of this scheme as our new Shared Lives Manager?

Your first (big!) task will be to recruit 25 new families into the scheme as Shared Lives Carers. You’ll have two years to achieve this, using your skills and imagination to “sell” the scheme in a variety of ways.

You’ll lead the matching process between Carers and people being supported, who will all be adults with learning disabilities. You’ll monitor placements, developing close relationships with all concerned, as well as liaising with the local authority and other stakeholders.

You’ll have an understanding of the needs of vulnerable people, their families and carers. You’ll be a confident networker, with great communication skills. Ideally, you’ll have operational knowledge of social care support schemes.

Benefits include:

Generous annual leave allowance of 33 days (including public holidays) rising with service
Workplace pension scheme
Employee Assistance scheme to support your health and wellbeing
MacIntyre Staff Savings Scheme

Closing date: Tuesday 18 December 2018

To apply for this position please visit: Charity Recruitment


Kim and Bill Paisley Cornerstone Sarah.McPhailcornerstone.org.uk“Hi, my name is Kim, and I live with my Shared Lives carer, Bill in Paisley, who is part of Cornerstone’s Shared Lives Service. I volunteer at the local Barnardo’s shop in nearby Linwood. The thing I like most about my job is meeting customers and helping them when they come into the shop.

“Bill is always a great support for me, as I can go to him when I need help with anything. Sometimes we go shopping together, and he always drops me off and picks me up when I go to get my hair done every few weeks. Bill and I also enjoy going on holiday together. Recently we went to Ireland and stayed in a lovely place called Letterkenny. We also went on a day trip to the Giant’s Causeway. I really want to go back to Ireland one day as we had so much fun there. However, I don’t have too long to wait till my next holiday, as I’m soon heading off to Brugge in Belgium for a few days with Bill’s daughter, Susan. I’m so excited, and can’t wait to go.

“My biggest hobby and favourite past time is going to music concerts. My favourite artist is country singer Kenny Chesney. He’s never been to Scotland before, so I keep hoping he will come one day so I can go see him in concert. I’m going to see the Osmond’s, Boyzone and Keith Urban over the next few months which will all be amazing. I love Boyzone, and my favourite song is ‘Love Me for a Reason’. Bill isn’t a fan of my music, so he just chauffeurs me to and from the gigs, which is a massive help to me. I’d be lost without Bill and his family, as they look after me in a way that makes me feel like a member of their own family.”

 Become a Shared Lives carer 

Flo and Alexandra inside“You cannot believe the difference that it makes just hearing somebody in the house. Hearing movement upstairs and knowing that it's not someone breaking in or something like that. The best thing about it is somebody coming in at night, round about six o'clock.” Florence, Householder, London

In 2018, in partnership with the Department of Communities, Homeshare UK undertook a study to assess the feasibility of having an active Homeshare service in Northern Ireland.

The report concluded that Homeshare:

  • Supports older people to live independently for as long as they can in their community 
  • Is a preventative approach which supports those with low level social support needs below eligibility thresholds for statutory social care 
  • Potential to help reduce demand for social housing and make best use of existing housing stock 
  • Provides good quality low cost homes for key low paid workers and other groups who need affordable housing
  • Companionship and reduction of loneliness and isolation for both Householders and Homesharers
  • Potential to support specific demographic groups such as individuals with disabilities, refugees, older males and those with early onset dementia
  • Low-cost support option, with potential to reduce Health Trust spending on social care and new housing stock for older people
  • Supports early discharge from hospital.

Read the executive summary with key findings

Read the full report

“Thanks. One of our team will email you shortly and give you contact details for the scheme in your area. Keep an eye on your inbox!”

"Does my heart look big in this?!" When TV actress Arabella Weir went in search of kindness, she found it in an ordinary home with two unrelated people sharing an extraordinary life.

Mary was a retired nurse, adopted children and a coop-full of ex-battery hens.... but her house - and her heart - weren’t full up yet!

When Sinead left hospital, she was told her only option was residential care. At 26, she didn’t want to live in an institution with people who were so much older than her. That’s when Mary and Sinead met through their local Shared Lives scheme.

Mary is a Shared Lives carer and they now share home, family and community life. Mary says it makes for “A richer sort of life!” Sinead agrees, saying “I fought to stay here!” 

You could change somebody’s life by becoming a Shared Lives carer too. You could:

  • welcome someone into your home and life
  • help them with socialising, shopping or self-confidence 
  • continue rehab after an operation
  • provide a consistent relationship after a breakdown or dementia
  • become the joint champions at your local bowling alley or pub quiz! 

It sounds ordinary, but you will be a paid professional carer, making a real difference in your own home. Shared Lives care performs best for quality and safety of all social care, inspected by the Care Quality Commission. Mary says “I would recommend anyone to be a Shared Lives carer!"

Want to change someone’s life by sharing yours? If you’re interested, let us know and we'll ask your local scheme to get in touch with you. 

What is your name?
Phone Number


Thursday, 25 October 2018 10:31

Does my heart look big in this?

Arabella meets Mary and Sinead

When Sinead wanted to move out of her parents’ home, the only option offered to her was a residential care home, but at 26 years old, she didn’t want to live with people who were so much older than her.

Mary used to be a learning disability nurse. She had already brought up a large family, adopted two boys, and a chicken coop full of ex-battery cage hens! Her home - and her heart - weren’t quite full up yet though. She had enough room to share and enjoy life with another person. That’s when Mary and Sinead met. The result was two ordinary people coming together to share an extraordinary life. That’s what Arabella Weir, actor of Fast Show and Two Doors Down fame, saw when she visited them to find out what Shared Lives care is about.

Sinead says, “I love it here, I fought to stay here. Ever since I met her, she’s lovely.”

Mary says, “I would recommend anyone to become a Shared Lives carer – and give people a richer life.”

Shared Lives carers open their homes and lives to someone who needs a little care and support to live life to the full.
It sounds ordinary, but Shared Lives care is the highest rated type of social care, inspected by the Care Quality Commission in England, with 96% of schemes rated good or outstanding, and top ratings by the Care Inspectorates in Wales and Scotland.

You could be helping with shopping, continuing rehab after an operation, providing a consistent relationship after a breakdown, or becoming the joint champions at your local bowling alley or pub quiz!

People can face a lot of closed doors in our health and social care system. Shared Lives carers open them. We offer training, but the main thing you need is a big enough heart and a zest for life. Through the highs and lows, Shared Lives carers are there to help people recover and enjoy life together.
If you think you could offer a warm, friendly home and your heart is big enough, talk to your local scheme to find out more.
Shared Lives Plus is a network of companions, supporters, doers, and excellent brew-makers.

We support our members: local Shared Lives schemes and Shared Lives carers, to get on with life in an ordinary home, by making sure national and local governments understand the amazing Shared Lives people can build and create the legal and financial system to make it easier. Find out about our latest wins for Shared Lives carers.

Join our membership to stay up to date with national practice, guidance and support.

We're pleased to share some great news for Shared Lives in Wales, where several Shared Lives carers had their brilliant work recognised, and scooped gold and silver prizes in the Wales Care Awards.

The Wales Care Awards are a celebration of excellence across the Wales care sector. The purpose of the awards is to congratulate those individuals who have demonstrated outstanding excellence within their field. The Awards are an annual event run by Care Forum Wales to showcase best practice across the care sector.

Awards were presented in three categories – gold, silver and bronze – and are an important part of raising the profile of care workers and educating the public about the vital work done by carers across Wales. There are twenty award categories available for nomination, which represent all areas of social care, whether it be older people or specialist services, residential or home care. Nominations were invited for those engaged on a full, part-time or voluntary basis across the social care sector in Wales.

We are delighted that Shared Lives carers from South East Wales and PSS Shared Lives, North Wales won two golds and two silver awards between them.

• Silver for Excelllence in Learning Disability and Mental Health Services was presented to Dei Williams from North Wales
• Elaine and Len Bastin were awarded Gold for Promoting Fulfilled Lives category
• The Peter Clarke Gold Award for Promoting Excellence in Services for Children and Young People was presented to Lynne and Jeffrey Gornicki
• Tim and Christine Masters were awarded the Silver for Excellence in Palliative and End of Life Care.

What a fantastic achievement for all of these winners and a wonderful reflection of the quality of care that is delivered by Shared Lives Carers across Wales. Thank you for putting Shared Lives firmly on the map!

We want to know about your experiences around the issue of self-funding people accessing Shared Lives. Please spare a few minutes to answer some questions - it will help us to expand the offer of Shared Lives to people who pay for their own care all around the UK.

Access to Shared Lives is usually through a referral from a social worker or health provider and comes with a financial assessment and an established pathway to pay for the service. 

Under the enormous pressures of austerity, however, many older people are no longer meeting the assessment criteria for care and are having to fund their own care needs. People with a dementia diagnosis are often not offered a paid for service until the dementia is far advanced.

In recent years, as services have been reduced, many people have been forced to self-fund support to increase their quality of life. Family and informal carers may also choose to pay towards care and support for a loved one to supplement the informal support they provide or to provide respite.

Until recently it was difficult for Shared Lives to support self-funders due to tax laws, but in November 2017 a significant update to tax law was announced which ensures that Shared Lives carers can continue to claim tax relief when they support people who pay for their own care.

There is little understanding of how self-funders can access Shared Lives, particularly those schemes that are operated by local authorities. Shared Lives Plus are looking at how to open up Shared Lives to Self-funders and develop pathways for self-funders wishing to use Shared Lives. As a first step we are interested to find out more about how schemes are offering support to people who self-fund their care.

Definition of Self funder:

A self-funder is a person who pays the full cost of their care and support from their own financial resources.
People may self-fund their care and support because:

1) They have not approached public authorities and made their own arrangements for their care and support.
2) They have been assessed by the Local Authority and do not meet the threshold for publicly funded assistance.
3) They have been assessed by the Local Authority as being eligible forcare and support services but have savings or assets above the self-funding threshold set by the government currently, £23,250.


Friday, 12 October 2018 10:59

New report shows Homeshare is growing

We are delighted to publish the Homeshare annual sector report. It is a comprehensive analysis of the national Homeshare sector, laying out the key success, challenges and priorities for Homeshare in the UK.

It reflects on the remarkable growth in public awareness of the Homeshare model after high profile media appearances and a video of Florence and Alexandra on BBC politics that has been viewed 25 million times.

Important successes

  • The number of matches has increased 42% since last year
  • The average length of a Homeshare match has increased from 12-14 months
  • Six schemes are now financially self-sustaining
  • Evidence shows that Homeshare can simultaneously tackle loneliness at all ages, low-level support needs in older people, and the lack of affordable housing


  • Homeshare is still only available to ‘self-funders’
  • Large parts of the UK and Ireland are not well served by Homeshare
  • There is still a lack of formalised referral pathways from health and social care professionals to Homeshare providers
  • Despite huge increase in public awareness, Homeshare is still relatively unknown amongst key potential supporters including; health and social care professionals and local authority front line staff.

The report calls for local areas to become ‘Homeshare friendly,’ and for national and local leadership to make Homeshare affordable for people on low incomes. We are also asking for Homeshare to be scaled up and developed in places where there is currently limited access to the scheme, particularly Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the North East and South East of England.

Please take the time to read the full report for full picture of Homeshare in the UK, depicted in statistics and stories of people whose lives have been transformed and enriched by sharing a home, exchanging practical help, knowledge and companionship.

If you’re on the go, you can read the executive summary for some key facts!

Homeshare UK annual report 2018 - executive summary 

Homeshare UK - full report 2018

You can also read an the reports on the Homeshare UK website.

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