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Joint project to create new adult social care jobs across the Midlands

People who pride themselves on being caring and compassionate are being offered the ultimate lockdown job opportunity – getting paid to look after someone in their own home.

Three local Shared Lives schemes, Camphill Village Trust based in Dudley Borough, Birmingham City and Walsall Council, have come together under a national pilot project aiming to rapidly recruit households across the Birmingham and Black Country region to open up their homes and hearts to adults with additional/complex, and earn up to £570 a week tax free in return.

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The project comes about as more and more of us are seeking a change of direction in life amid the ongoing pandemic, and it is hoped that people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds will apply for these exciting new roles. Much of the assessment can also be streamlined and undertaken online, which reduces the need for schemes to visit applicants’ homes during ongoing lockdown restrictions.

Samantha 31 and Adam Barlow 38 are Shared Lives carers based in Sedgley.  They said: “Being a Shared Lives carer is a job that sounds a little too good to be true – but it isn’t!

“It’s great being paid to support someone in our home, or out in the community. Our lives fit together it’s great to be able to enrich someone else’s life whilst also enriching our own. Most important of all, you are providing a loving and supportive home for someone who needs it.

“Before becoming shared lives carers, we both worked in catering and hospitality, with a brief time working in community-based care. We found that these skills and our life experiences, could all be used in a Shared Lives carer role. We wanted a career that would fit round our commitments and a way we could give back to others with the comfort of being in our own home.

“The great thing is you don’t need any experience at all – just a caring nature and eagerness to support someone, and a spare room!”

Across the UK more than 6,000 Shared Lives carers support more than 14,000 social care users, with 150 new opportunities currently available nationally. Carers can provide day care, over-night care or a permanent home for a diverse range of people who need support in everyday life. This could be anyone from young people leaving care, those with mental or physical disabilities, to older people or those needing short term support following hospital treatment.  95% of all Shared Lives schemes rated as Good or Outstanding.

Shared Lives carers come from a whole range of careers. As well as former care workers and health professionals, current carers include former brick layers, mortgage advisers, foster carers, butchers and police officers, with young parents also choosing it as a career that works around their own childcare responsibilities.

Kate Morgan, Registered Manager for the Camphill Village Trust scheme said: “Covid-19 has had an unprecedented impact on all aspects of our lives since March, but the 900 plus Shared Lives Carers across the West Midlands region have been providing more support than ever. We have witnessed first-hand how resilient and creative carers have been during these uncertain times and continue to support people to live longer, healthier, happier lives.”

“Whether you’re ready for a career change, want to feel rewarded in your work, are hoping to fill the gap left by your own children moving on, or looking for ways to earn some extra money to help look after your own family, being a Shared Lives carer could be for you. You don’t need any qualifications or former care experience as we provide all the training you need on the job. Your enthusiasm, motivation and commitment are far more important, and we will support you every step of the way”

To apply, applicants can contact either of the three schemes on:

For the Black Country, South Staffordshire (below A454), Kidderminster and all surrounding areas https://www.camphillvillagetrust.org.uk/sharedlives Tel: 01384 441505

For Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield, Solihull and all surrounding areas:  https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/sharedlives Tel: 07592 586475 or 07592 586485

For Walsall and all surrounding areas: https://go.walsall.gov.uk/sharedlives   Tel: 01922 652497