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 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.
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.
We 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:
"Shared Lives is helping me stay well enough long enough to prevent my wife going into care" family carer, Moray
With thanks to funding from the Life Changes Trust, funded by The Big Lottery, now known as The National Lottery Community Fund.
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
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.
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.
Deadline for completed applications 12 noon 21st January 2019
Interviews in Liverpool – January 2019 (date tbc)
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.
In 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.
In Barnsley, the Shared Lives scheme has been working in partnership with Barnsley CCG and people are beginning to benefit from Shared Lives in ways they haven’t been able to before.
Christina had been in hospital for an operation after a recent diagnosis of breast cancer. She received good news that the operation had been successful. Whilst planning her discharge, it was agreed that she would benefit from a short period of care whilst she recovered. Christina and the gentleman she usually lives with both have a learning disability, but he was going to be on holiday when she was ready to leave the hospital. On leaving hospital her goals were
As Barnsley Shared Lives scheme were one of the “Scaling up Shared Lives in health” sites, they had a partnership arrangement with the hospital and there was NHS funding in place so that Christina could choose to use Shared Lives upon discharge.
She was given exercises to do on a daily basis, every hour or so, to gently stretch her arms. Her Shared Lives carer Jenny supported Christina to do these exercises throughout her stay. As it was important to prepare for going back home, Jenny took Christina to do jobs like putting the bins out together. Keeping things ticking over at Christina’s own home helped her to prepare for going back to her own home after the stay with Jenny.
Christina will require radiotherapy treatment in the future which may potentially leave her with some side effects which might be difficult for her to manage in her own home. Due to the success of the stay with Jenny, there is a further option to refer back in to Shared Lives should the circumstances require this.
This example from Barnsley shows that although Shared Lives is mainly considered to be a model of social care, where Shared Lives carers share family life and support people with personal care and daily living, it can be the right kind of support for people during times of ill health too.
In many cases, the needs of people who are able to access NHS funding are not dissimilar from those who are able to access social care funding. Shared Lives is about so much more than providing the practical support people need during times of ill health; Shared Lives carers and their families are able to provide the emotional support alongside this. For many, this is what makes all the difference during their recovery.
If Shared Lives had not been available, Christina would have had limited options available to her.
Well doe to everyone in Barnsley who has helped to get this pilot off the ground and to the Shared Lives scheme workers and Shared Lives carers who have made new arrangements like this happen.
We know that the rollout of Universal Credit across the country has caused problems for many people in Shared Lives, so we’re pleased to publish a briefing which explores Universal Credit in full. It describes what people who use Shared Lives are actually entitled to, potential pitfalls and problems with the transition to Universal credit.
The document gives a call out for Shared Lives schemes, carers and people being supported to get in touch with their specific experiences of benefits experience, so we can continue to hone our guidance around the issue.
Please use the below guidance and information when encountering problems with Universal Credit and to challenge decisions and rulings of job centres. Pleaseshare the relevant information with Shared Lives carers
Tenancy Agreements for people supported in Shared Lives
Some people have experienced job centre staff saying that people using Shared Lives must have a tenancy agreement in place to apply for Universal Credit, but this isn’t right. Eligibility to receive the housing element of Universal Credit is based around whether an individual is responsible for paying rent. It does not matter whether the individual has a tenancy or a license agreement, as both specify that the individual has a legal responsibility to pay rent.
This is laid out in the Government’s Universal Credit regulations
Schedule 1 (Paragraph 2) defines a rent payment as
2. “Rent payments” are such of the following as are not excluded by paragraph 3
(a) payments of rent;
(b) payments for a licence or other permission to occupy accommodation;
(c) mooring charges payable for a houseboat;
(d) in relation to accommodation which is a caravan or mobile home, payments in respect of the site on which the accommodation stands;
(e) contributions by residents towards maintaining almshouses (and essential services in them) provided by a housing association which is– (i) a registered charity, or (ii) an exempt charity within Schedule 3 to the Charities Act 2011.
Section 25 (paragraph 3) of the Act specifies the reasons that people are liable to pay rent. It basically says that to be eligible an applicant must meet three conditions to get the housing element of Universal Credit
So if the individual meets the eligibility criteria for the housing element on Universal Credit and meets the above three conditions, they are entitled to receive the housing element. This is regardless of whether they have a tenancy agreement or a licence agreement.
MacIntyre are looking for a Frontline Manager - Shared Lives - Central Bedfordshire
Full Time (38 hours a week)
Salary: £26,142 a year
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.
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
“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.”
“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:
Read the executive summary with key findings
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:
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.
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.