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Government funding boost to help recruit more Shared Lives carers

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£300k award from Coronavirus Community Support Fund will help to recruit and train 160 carers

Shared Lives Plus has announced the creation of up to 160 new carer jobs following a £300,000 funding boost from the government’s Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund.

The money will support the creation of an online platform to recruit and train Shared Lives carers – helping to speed up a normally lengthy process – and will increase carer numbers during the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, more than 100 carers will gain access to safe, home-based support that will help people to form better community links and ease pressure on traditional social care services, such as care homes.

Shared Lives Plus currently supports more than 6,000 Shared Lives carers, who open their homes to look after people with a range of needs, such as a learning or physical disability, mental ill health, dementia, or to recover following hospital treatment.

Once carers are recruited, a personalised, two-way matching process is carried out by one of over 150 local Shared Lives schemes and, once both parties are completely happy, the person moves into the carer’s home. Shared lives arrangements can last from a few weeks to many years.

Alex Fox, CEO of Shared Lives Plus, said:

“In response to the devastating Covid-19 pandemic we have been exploring ways to recruit and assess more Shared Lives carers, during a period of intense pressure on our health and social care systems. Thanks to the UK government and department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, this crucial funding will help provide a faster, more streamlined approach to carer recruitment, create more jobs and offer more support to people that need it most during these unprecedented times.”

Shared Lives is fully regulated by the CQC, which consistently rates it as the best quality and safest form of social care, with 95% of all Shared Lives schemes rated as good or outstanding.