• 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

Meg portraitMeg spoke to MPs at our parliamentary reception about her experience of Shared Lives. She wants you to hear her story. 

Hello, my name is Meg and I’d like you to take a moment. Think of something you deeply regret.

Think of a time where you’ve behaved inappropriately or something cringey you did when you were drunk…

Now think of those words you’ve cursed in rage when someone cut you up at the junction.

Now imagine if all of these things were:

Written down

Now most of us in this room look like trouble, a risk.

Remember, there’s nothing about how you work yourself into the ground five day a week to support your family.

Nothing about you caring for your elderly grandmother.

And there’s nothing about how you tracked down that stranger to return his wallet. Because you’re not a person, you’re a case.

For 13 years of my childhood, I endured severe trauma in all domains. As a result of this, I have spent most of my life in psychiatric hospitals due to my fragile state of mind and the severity of the harm I was inflicting upon myself.

Meg speakingMy last hospital admission lasted four and a half years where I worked my hardest in therapy, processed the traumas and came to terms with my past. I found hope and I became strong. It was time to leave hospital but no-one knew where was the best for me to go. I knew I needed to feel part of something and to be genuinely cared for, away from a clinical setting. 

After many weeks of searching, I found out about Shared Lives. I took the information to my doctor and she agreed it was perfect. Before long I was matched and placed with my Shared Lives carer named Hayley.

I didn’t know how to live in the community as an adult. I was so scared.

But Hayley taught me how to cook and supported me to shop. She sharpened my road sense and showed me how to get around on public transport by myself. As well as all of this, she stood strong by my side, through my mood swing, my tears and frustration. We got through it. She’s my angel.

It’s been 22 months since I left hospital and moved into Hayley’s care and I have achieved so much. 

I work in a dog grooming salon three times a week. I run a self harm support group in my town. I’ve been on adventures and made new friends. And in January this year, I moved into my own house independently and just receive day time support. Also it has been 14 months two weeks and six days since I last self-harmed.

Shared Lives saved my life.

Meg by riverMore people need this chance. We need to see them as people with a future, instead of a risk. Or a case study. 

I’m just trying to say that we need to give more people a chance of happiness, like the happiness that Shared Lives gave to me.

Politicians unite to back Shared Lives

"Our relationship is built on a solid foundation of equality and mutual respect"

It’s not often you find MPs agreeing on something, but yesterday leading politicians across the political parties backed Shared Lives as the ‘future of social care’. 

Over 50 people involved in Shared Lives travelled from across the UK to meet MPs at the House of Commons as part of this year’s campaign to value fairness for Shared Lives carers.

Liz Kendall MP, who hosted the event, said thank you to all Shared Lives carers, “You are the future of social care because you give people what we all want from life: someone to love, a home, a family, as normal a life as possible, with independence, choice and control to do what you want with your life. Some of the most powerful stories I’ve ever heard have come from Shared Lives. People who were trapped in institutions, now living happy, fulfilled lives.

Kendall continued, “You are the good in the world, which we need so much right now. I’m so proud to give you my full support”.

Norman Lamb MP, former Minister for Social Care, advocated radical changes in both the health and social care system: "So often the wrong care costs us money and so often we breach people’s human rights, locking people away when they don’t need to be. We need a radical transformation. I want do everything I can to support you on this journey.”

Kit Malthouse, Minister for Families and Housing, said, “Shared Lives is consistently rated outstanding by the CQC and although money changes hands and there are duties required, it is the high quality mutual relationships at the heart of Shared Lives which are its power. We need to ensure that Shared Lives carers have the right support which enables their relationship with the person they support to be as brilliant as possible.”

Throughout the evening MPs spoke to people who are supported by Shared Lives carers and learned about the difference they have made. Hear Ali and Chris’ story here

Meg who spent five years in a mental health hospital, said, “I found out about Shared Lives and it sounded perfect. With the support of my clinician, I moved in with my Shared Lives carer in a new town. I was so scared, I didn’t know how to live in the community, but she taught me and she stood by my side. It’s been 22 months since I left hospital and I have achieved so much.

I work three days a week, I run a self-harm support group in my town, I’ve been on adventures and made new friends. In January this year, I moved into my own house and my Shared Lives carer still supports me a few days a week.

“More people need this chance and we need to see them as people with a future instead of a risk or a case study.”

John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor and Iain Duncan Smith put their differences aside for a moment, to find out about Shared Lives for themselves.

IDS and JM for web

Alex Fox, CEO said, “Politicians disagree on just about everything, except for Shared Lives. Everyone can see that it’s the small miracles, such as stable and consistent relationships and an ordinary home, which make such a huge difference to people’s lives. It’s the things that you can’t contract for – which makes it so unique.

You won’t often hear people talking about money, but we are not ignoring it. Some Shared Lives carers haven’t had a pay rise in ten years and we are calling on local authorities to include Shared Lives carers in their health and social care workforce development and pay reviews.”

Read Alex’s latest blog - social care’s birthday present looks like continued cuts 

We are inviting all MPs to visit Shared Lives households in their constituency. If you would like to arrange a visit, contact your local scheme or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hello everyone, my name is Chris. And my name is Ali.

And Chris has lived for 3 years with myself, my husband and 2 mad dogs under the watchful eye of the very excellent Birmingham Shared Lives scheme.

So what can we tell you about ourselves? To be honest I read all these things from Shared Lives Plus – the magazines, press releases and all the inspirational stories about the amazing things that people in Shared Lives have achieved. And every time I think to myself “ well me and Chris haven’t done anything like that” and I feel like a bit of a fraud. 

Which was completely fine. Until, in a recent moment of madness, we agreed to stand here in front of everyone today and tell you about all the amazing things that we have achieved…..!

So my first thought was “Oh well, not to worry we’ll just make something up”!

But then I started thinking “well what exactly have we been doing for the past 3 years?” And then I thought, “ I know, I’ll ask Chris….”

“Chris……what would you say are the 3 most amazing things about living here with us? Is it being part of the family, my unwavering support, and the sense of belonging to your local community??”

“No. It’s the free wi- fi. And it’s near the bus stop. And I don’t have to do any ironing.”

Oh! OK, well let’s try again: “Chris…..how would you describe me in 3 words? Warm, caring and compassionate??”

“No. Argumentative. Impatient. And always making me wash my hands……”

Right Chris, this is getting serious. We’ve got 90 seconds left and we’ve really got to come up with something to convince all these people to invest in Shared Lives.....
So……..supposing I gave you £50 in iTunes vouchers………!!! To come up with 3 really, really nice things about me and life in our Shared Lives home…..what would they be??

“Well. I’m independent, but not too independent.

I do more things and I’ve got more friends.
And you are kind and funny and you just let me be myself.”

And lo and behold, I think that might just be it……

Chris came to us after 19 years in a residential home and was, unsurprisingly, what I would describe as mildly institutionalised. It was an excellent home. But there were staff. And there were residents. And there were lots of boundaries, and when Chris wanted to go for a drink in the pub he had to complete a risk assessment. And when he first moved in we didn’t argue and we didn’t get annoyed – in Chris’ words “It was too calm”….and Chris usually just told me what he thought I wanted to hear.

Well I’m not staff. I’m not even sure I am particularly a carer – I’m just me. And Chris is not a resident or a client or a service user, he’s just Chris. And we live together and learn from each other and drive each other mad and maybe, just maybe - though we’d both be far too embarrassed to admit it- we even love each other a tiny little bit……

Chris has come off a lot of his medication. He enjoys college, volunteers in a local café, goes out and about with his friends and last year for his 40th birthday he took us all gambling and clubbing down Broad St – “ no risk assessment” – and I think it’s fair to say that by the end of the evening I was far more of a liability than him!

And I am learning all the time. In particular about how to tread that very fine line between ‘support’ and ‘control’ and how to just let Chris be himself.

So, while Shared Lives often changes people’s lives dramatically for the better, sometimes the changes are more subtle though no less valuable. Lots of things have changed since Chris moved in, we laugh a lot more and yes we argue too. But that is because Chris is more confident, more secure and more complete. And because, for all its flaws, our relationship is built on a solid foundation of equality and mutual respect such as exists in any other ordinary, happy family home.

My final question for Chris was: “Where would you like your life to be in 10 years’ time?”


So, looking at it that way, maybe we have – thanks to Shared Lives – actually achieved something a tiny little bit amazing after all…….thankyou.

This Privacy Notice sets out how Shared Lives Plus (the event organiser) will use and protect any information that you provide when registering for the Shared Lives Plus Conference 2018.    It is made under Articles 13 and/or 14 of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). For the purposes of this notice Shared Lives Plus is a Data Controller as defined under the GDPR.

Shared Lives Plus’ use of your data

By registering for Shared Lives Plus Annual Conference 2018, you will share with Shared Lives Plus your personal data and contact information as requested in the online booking form. Your registration details will be treated in accordance with Shared Lives Plus’ privacy policy.   


Shared Lives Plus may store and process your personal data to:

  • register and facilitate your attendance at Shared Lives Plus Annual Conference 2018
  • evaluate the Shared Lives Plus Annual Conference 2018 and any subsequent communications in relation to the event

Legal basis of processing

The legal basis for processing your personal data is out of necessity for the performance of a contract in which you are a party, which is your event booking.

Legitimate Interests

In addition to the above legal basis, Shared Lives Plus may also use your personal data and/or registration information under the following legitimate interests to:

  • contact you from time to time by email or phone:
    • to provide you with updates and details relating to Shared Lives Plus Annual Conference 2018
  • manage delegate contacts, queries, complaints or disputes
  • provide your registration information as part of our delegate attendance list which will form part of our delegates’ conference pack.
  • photograph or film parts of the event, including group and crowd shots, and may use such media for marketing and promotional purposes.   If you do not wish to be photographed or filmed please let us know by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or speaking to one of the registration team at the Conference.

Special Category Data

To the extent that you provide, in the entry form, special categories of data revealing information, the legal basis for processing your sensitive personal data is that the processing is necessary for the purposes of carrying out obligations and exercising specific rights of the controller and of the data subject in the field of social protection law and for assisting with your health and safety or attendance at the event.


Your personal data will be kept by us securely for 12 months from the last contact we have with you.

Your Rights

You have the right to:

  • request information about how your personal data are processed, and to request a copy of that personal data.
  • request that any inaccuracies in your personal data are rectified without delay.
  • request that any incomplete personal data are completed, including by means of a supplementary statement.
  • request that your personal data are erased if there is no longer a justification for them to be processed.
  • in certain circumstances (for example, where accuracy is contested) to request that the processing of your personal data is restricted.
  • to request a copy of any personal data you have provided, and for it to be provided in a structured, commonly used machine-readable format.

Please contact us at the address specified below if you would like to exercise any of these rights or have any queries regarding our use of your data.

Contact Details

Shared Lives Plus

Room G04

The Cotton Exchange

Old Hall Street


L3 9JR

Or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Alex Fox outsideBirthday presents for some

We’re celebrating the start of Shared Lives week, just as the Prime Minister announces a 70th birthday present for the NHS: £20 billion a year in extra funding by 2023. The NHS being 70 means that social care is 70 too: they were created at the same time, but social care’s birthday present looks likely to be continued cuts. The public – and therefore the politicians they elect – value what they can understand. We understand doctors and nurses healing or curing us, so we’re grateful for what they do.

Radical kindness

Social care is still poorly understood and too often associated with things we don’t like the sound of, like living in a care home, or failures of care. Even within the context of social care’s low profile, Shared Lives is poorly understood. It’s much older than the NHS and social care, with roots going back hundreds of years. In the 14th Century, around the time when the first asylums were being built in the UK, in a small town called Geel in Belgium, a few people were instead opening their homes to people who needed their support. The act of sharing your home and family life is radical, even shocking in a world where we can feel we have less and less contact with each other, but it’s also deeply personal. It goes unnoticed except by the people who feel safe, settled and valued somewhere that feels like a home from home.

Fairness for Shared Lives carers

Much of what makes Shared Lives – and indeed Homeshare – special, is the unpaid contributions which people and families make to each other’s lives. But Shared Lives carers have to live and they are not volunteers, they are trained and paid as part of the UK’s highest-performing regulated care sector. We aren’t expecting £20 billion for Shared Lives. But we are calling for every area to value Shared Lives carers. Firstly, that means seeing and understanding what they do. We are inviting elected councillors and MPs to visit a Shared Lives household in their constituency to see for themselves what goes into making good lives when people need significant support. We have a Charter for Shared Lives and we want every area to use it as a model for their own local Charter, which sets out what local people can expect when they share their lives. And we are not ignoring money. I meet Shared Lives carers who have contributed vast amounts of their time, energy and lives to ensuring someone lives well, but who have not even been considered for a pay increase in over a decade. They do not feel valued in the way that they should, and we want every area to commit to including Shared Lives carers in their workforce development and pay reviews.

The NHS and social care are 70. Shared Lives isn’t far off 700. Isn’t it time we celebrated – and valued – those thousands of shared lives as they deserve?

Read the original post on Alex Fox's blog or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Adass responds to NHS funding announcement

People in Shared Lives #Invaluable 2018 - valuing Shared Lives carers

Many Shared Lives carers commit to sharing all of their lives – taking on a responsibility that is a paid way of life rather than just a job. Their dedication in this deserves to be rewarded. They create outcomes in mental and physical health that are proportionally greater than the resources they require.

We call on local authorities to include Shared Lives carers as part of their wider social care pay review processes. Even though they are self-employed, the work they do is categorically a part of social care – so including them in social care pay reviews is a matter of basic fairness. In some cases, Shared Lives carers haven’t had a pay increase in 10 years. We know public services haven’t had pay rises, and only some had pay rises in line with inflation. Investing in Shared Lives carers, will enable more people to enjoy Shared Lives and eventually create a social care system that is more effective and more human.

Pay review toolkit - a starting point for conversations

Sign up the Shared Lives Charter


Friday, 15 June 2018 17:50

Join our #Invaluable campaign

Shared Lives carers at homeThe difference you make
Shared Lives carers do amazing work and enrich the lives of the individuals they support as well as the communities they live in. This year, our #Invaluable campaign is for the value of Shared Lives carers to be recognised nationally and in your communities. 

Fairness for Shared Lives carers
Many Shared Lives carers commit to sharing all of their lives – taking on a responsibility that is a paid way of life rather than just a job. Their dedication in this deserves to be rewarded. They create outcomes in mental and physical health that are proportionally greater than the resources they require.

We call on all schemes to meet with Shared Lives carers to co-design their own local Shared Lives charter, which describes what a good scheme, which values its carers, looks like.

We also call on local authorities to include Shared Lives carers as part of their wider social care pay reviews. Even though they are self-employed, the work they do is categorically a part of social care – so including them is a matter of basic fairness. In some cases, Shared Lives carers haven’t had a pay increase in 10 years. We know public services haven’t had pay rises, and only some had pay rises in line with inflation. Investing in Shared Lives carers, will enable more people to enjoy Shared Lives and eventually create a social care system that is more effective and more human.

Sign up to the Shared Lives charter

Ideas to start talking about pay with your local authority

Fair pay guidance 2018-19

"Social care's birthday present looks like continued cuts", blog by Alex Fox, CEO

Campaign briefing for MPs

Friday, 15 June 2018 17:42

Shared Lives week 2018 in your area!

Sunderland Shared LivesUp and down the UK, an inspirational army of Shared Lives carers and schemes are celebrating their role in helping thousands of people who need extra support to live ordinary lives across the UK this week.

Over 14,000 people who need help to live well either visit or live with 10,000 approved Shared Lives carers. They share family and community life together, enabling people who need support to stay in the area, make new friends and recover from hospital or live an ordinary life, instead of being in a care home.

Join in The Great Shared Lives Picnic

From Great Shared Lives Picnics, to walks along the beach, discos to tea parties, take a look at our Shared Lives week calendar to find out what’s happening near you, or give your local scheme a ring to get involved.

We would love to see your photos and hear what's been happening. Please send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Find your Shared Lives scheme

Join the #Invaluable 2018 campaign


Thursday, 14 June 2018 16:18

#100Lives - Shared Lives Week in Wales

It's Shared Lives Week, and our #invaluable campaign, which aims to value Shared Lives carers and demonstrate the value of Shared Lives, is in full swing. In Wales, over 900 people are supported and given #invaluable care in Shared Lives arrangements. We want to make it to 1000, and #100lives more will help us reach our goal.

For more people to be supported, we need more Shared Lives carers. Shared Lives carers truly share their lives with the people who move in with or visit them, and are approved after a rigorous selection process by one of Wales’s 8 Care Inspectorate-regulated Shared Lives schemes. You don't need qualifications or experience, just the right attitude and a willingness to truly share your live with another person!

If you would like to become a Shared Lives carer, check which is your local scheme and contact them to find out how to apply.

You can find out more about what it means to be a Shared Lives carer on our website and follow us on Facebook as we release our series of Portraits of Shared Lives carers in Wales.

Help to transform #100lives more!


Shared Lives Plus England Committee Chair

We want to recruit a new Chair for our England Committee. in the past, representatives from the England committee have voted for each successive England Chair. But for the first time in our history, we have taken a different approach to finding a new Chair from our wider membership. If you are interested in becoming the next England Chair, we would like to hear from you.

The role

The England Committee Chair is an important role for Shared Lives Plus. The purpose of the role is:

  • To represent the views of people who live and work in Shared Lives in England
  • To Chair the meetings of the Shared Lives Plus Committee in England.
  • To provide a link between the meetings of the Shared Lives Champions Network and the Shared Lives in Scotland Committee.


  • To gather topics and agree agenda items for the England Committee.
  • To Chair England Committee meetings, ensuring everybody is given an opportunity to contribute their views and people are not discriminated against.
  • To agree the minutes were a true representation of the of the meeting prior to their distribution.
  • To provide a link between the England Committee and the Shared Lives Plus Board.

The Chair of the England Committee is elected by the members of Shared Lives Plus in England.

Who we are looking for

You need to be a Shared Lives Plus member a passionate advocate for the Shared Lives model. Applicants need not have lots of experience to apply: we will offer induction, training and ongoing support to make this role accessible.

We are keen to increase the diversity of people involved in out England committee to represent our membership, and we are looking for someone with a keen interest in equalities. 

If you don’t think you are ready for this role but are interested in taking part in the Shared Lives Plus regional or England Committees, please get in touch. We will support you to learn more about our work and how you can contribute.

How to apply

If you are interested in taking on the role please provide your name and contact details. In addition, please answer the following questions:

1.     Why you want to be the England Chair and why you think you are suitable for the role 

2.     What you hope to take away from the experience

3.     How you would help the England Committee to grow and develop 

Please email your interest to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 07551 154935

Background information: What are the regional and England Committees?

Regional committees

Shared Lives Plus has an active committee structure which draws on the energy and enthusiasm of some very committed members. The committees provide a space for members to meet, discuss Shared Lives issues and share their views with Shared Lives Plus. In England, there are nine regional committees who meet quarterly and provide an opportunity for Shared Lives Plus members to:

  • Meet up in person and access peer support
  • Meet with representatives from Shared Lives Plus
  • Be kept up to date about national issues impacting on Shared Lives
  • Identify and discuss local and national Shared Lives carer and scheme issues
  • Share ideas and good practice about the delivery of Shared Lives
  • Put forward their views to the England committee

The England Committee

The England Committee comprises of representatives from across nine regions. The committee meets quarterly and aims to:

  • Gather and share the views, experiences, and issues of Shared Lives carer and scheme members from each region
  • Ensure that member experiences help to shape the strategic direction of Shared Lives Plus and inform our day to day work.
  • communicate Shared Lives Plus’ work, direction and updates to regional members.
  • hold facilitated discussion topics with the aim to develop effective guidance and practice across the Shared Lives sector

Page 6 of 31

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