Aberdeenshire Shared Lives scheme have been nominated for the Scottish Social Service Awards (SSSA)on Wednesday June 6th. Their nomination is in the awards’ category 1 – Living the Codes – meaning that the scheme embodies the Scottish Social Service Council (SSSC) codes of practice for supporting people to live well day to day. Aberdeenshire’s bid explained how they achieved all six of the codes of practice. In their scheme they:
1) Get to know each family in an informal setting which allows for a personalised service.
2) Welcome everyone as part of the Shared Lives Team working together to make the scheme the best it can be.
3) Ensure that people make their own choices and have control when engaging in activities. Trust is built between the team, families and the client whilst allowing people to develop their independence.
4) Ensure that Shared Lives carers and families have the opportunity to build real, equal partnerships which may lead to new supportive matches, or strengthen an ongoing, life changing, self-supportive relationship.
5) Ensure that those who use their service are supported to make choices, making sure they stay as safe as possible whilst realising they are always risks in life.
6) Organise opportunities for Shared Lives carers, families and those they support to learn together and from one another.
As an example of how they did this, the scheme submitted their practice of going rock climbing with Shared Lives carers and the people they support. The activity helps all those involved to develop a range of skills and attributes which contribute to their personal growth. These include; team work, communication, helping others to achieve, bravery, trust, focus and concentration, coordination, patience, perseverance, problem solving and respect. The scheme used quotes from Shared Lives carers and the people they support to highlight their example:
“Taking a risk to climb the wall was something different but we had the choice to take part and the right people to help us do it”.
“It gives everyone the chance to make new friends and discover things about yourself in a tranquil setting. There are relaxed people to help you and no pressure to take part in the activities. When you find out you can do something you didn’t think you could it feels good!”
Supporting peoples’ rights to grow, learn, take risks and build their independence is at the heart of Shared Lives. Aberdeenshire Shared Lives scheme consistently puts this into practice and more than fulfils the SSSC codes of practice – so fingers crossed they bag the award!