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Shared Lives Plus is celebrating a significant update to tax law, as the result of extensive discussions with government on behalf of Members – and announced in the Autumn Budget this week.

The new law ensures clarity that Shared Lives carers can continue to claim tax relief when they support people who pay for their own care. It confirms fairness in the tax relief for Shared Lives carers, whether they support people who pay for their own care, or whether councils or health authorities pay for it. Shared Lives Plus worked closely with government colleagues and other partners to secure national government policy that fully recognises the role and needs of Shared Lives carers – especially its Members.

We applaud HMRC and Treasury officials for listening to us and the sector on this issue and for recognising the benefits of growing Shared Lives as a cost-effective, community-based model of social care and increasingly healthcare. The Budget says government wants to “encourage the use of Shared Lives care” and we will continue to work with them to enable our Members to support people who need extra support to live well. 

Many across the health and social care sector were disappointed that the Autumn Budget failed to tackle the gaping hole in long-term funding. We will continue to fight, alongside other organisations, for investment and change in the health and social care systems.

We are keen to work with government on drafting the relevant legislation for the new tax break - Qualifying Care Relief - to be as effective as possible. It will enable many more people who need extra support to use Shared Lives and live well and resolves a situation which could have financially penalised some Shared Lives carers. We are delighted that many more people who have support needs will be able to live well in the community as a result.

The changes affecting Shared Lives carers are explained here

The relevant passage of the Budget is on page 33:

3.17 Qualifying Care Relief (QCR) and self-funded Shared Lives payments – QCR is a tax simplification covering expenses incurred when providing care that means carers only need to keep simple records. The government will extend the scope of QCR to cover self-funded Shared Lives care payments, to encourage the use of Shared Lives care. 

Published in News
Tuesday, 12 September 2017 10:14

The Asset-Based Area

Shared Lives Plus CE0, Alex Fox describes ten features of an ‘asset-based area’ necessary for developing strong communities and sustainable public services. This will be of interest to council, clinical commissioning group commissioners and wider public professionals.

 

This new Think Local, Act Personal resource started as a blog post. Thanks to the TLAP team and its Building Community Capacity network, along with inspiration from local areas such as Wigan it has now become a how-to guide giving ten pointers towards becoming an Asset-Based Area.

You can read Alex Fox's blog on the Asset- Based Area paper for the Department of Health and Social Care here.

 

In an age of austerity, increasing attention is paid to what councils and the NHS cannot  do, making it vital to gain some clarity on  what the organisations and people of each area can do. Every area and its citizens can achieve more when they combine their expertise, time, creativity and resources. Decades of practice and research shows that this happens when:


•  Everyone shares an asset-based mindset: looking first for what individuals, families and communities can, or could do, with the right support, rather than focusing exclusively on needs and problems.

•  Services and organisations are  co-produced with the people whose  lives they touch. This means that  everyone involved identifies priorities,  co-designs services and systems, and  works together wherever possible to  co-deliver the work that takes place.

Every area already has at least some organisations, professionals and local  people who take those approaches, but  for them to have a wider and deeper  impact, whole systems and areas need to be aligned around an asset-based approach.

Many asset-based practitioners argue that people can lead that change only when  acting as local citizens, not when acting in professional or service leadership roles. An asset-based public body does not  have ‘customers’ (whose only responsibility is to pay taxes), rather it views everyone, including people with long term support needs, as citizens, with rights and responsibilities. Rather than ‘providers’, asset-based areas have partners, who share responsibility for system design and the best use of resources. An asset-based area is responsive to need, but always looks for capability and potential. It is confident in the things it can do, and the difference its people’s skills and expertise make, but it has the humility to recognise its limitations, namely to fix people or communities.

There are a wide range of asset-based models upon which to draw. Effective and sustainable models tend to:

•  Draw on an evidence base and identified model that can be co-produced with local people, for example refer to NICE Guidance.9

•  Build local capacity and expertise, rather  than relying on outside support.

Most approaches start by mapping an area’s assets. Approaches to this include asset mapping and appreciative enquiry. The  NHS Integrated Personalised Commissioning programme10 has published a relevant guide. Where possible, asset maps should be ‘open source’, with a wide range of local people  able to update and use them. Co-production approaches include those outlined by Think Local Act Personal11 and Coalition for Collaborative Care.12 Support models which draw (to varying degrees) on asset-based thinking include:

 •  Asset-based approaches to  community development e.g. ABCD; 13  Asset-based consulting.14

•  Approaches that support people to  become active contributing citizens, and  to find non service solutions whatever  their life experience or impairment e.g. Local Area Coordination.15

 •  Community enterprise development e.g. Community Catalysts.16

•  Circles of support e.g. Community Circles;17 Circles Network.18

•  Shared Lives: Local Shared Lives organisations. 19

•  Homeshare: Local Homeshare organisations can be found here.20

 •  Time-banking: Time Banks.21

•  Time credits e.g. Spice.22

 •  Dementia-friendly communities.23

 •  Co-produced social prescribing approaches.

•  Wellbeing teams24

•  Leadership for Empowered and Healthy Communities programme25 which supports leaders to grow and nurture capacity in communities to improve health and wellbeing

This is not an exhaustive list. Ultimately, all services can be offered in ways which aim  to help people:

•  To build and maintain family and social connections and relationships.

•  To build their confidence, knowledge  and resilience.

There are a number of ongoing debates around asset-based approaches. Definitions of ‘community’ range from being place-based to seeing communities of interest as more important. Communities and community development work can struggle to be inclusive of all groups, particularly minority groups and communities, and people with stigmatised health conditions.

Some asset-based thinking is very sceptical of the ability of organisations, particularly large organisations, to behave in a genuinely assetbased way and there are concerns that the  language could be selectively appropriated to  justify funding reductions for traditional services. Asset-based approaches require a significant investment of time and resources and whilst they may result in reduced demand for state services, they cannot be introduced successfully with that aim. Whilst it is vital that decision makers buy-in to asset-based thinking, ultimately it will be the buy-in and leadership of local people upon which success depends.

Published in News
Lincolnshire County Council are re-procuring their Shared Lives services and are holding a Market engagement day on the 7th September 2017 and would like to invite existing and new Providers who are interested in delivering Shared Lives services within Lincolnshire. Please find attached the market engagement questionnaire to feed into the Specification of the future Shared Lives services in Lincolnshire. If you wish to engage with us on this please fill in the attached questionnaire and submit by the 14th September 2017.
Please find attached an Agenda for a face to face Market Engagement day on the 7th September 2017. If you haven't already expressed an interest can you please respond via the portal   https://procontract.due-north.com/Login  with your intention to attend this day.
Published in News
Monday, 03 July 2017 14:19

Maggie's story

Maggie who uses Shared Lives services recently asked her Shared Lives carer to write in to us and share her story. We hope you enjoy reading Maggie's story and looking at her pictures. This story is a great example of the positive impact Shared Lives can have on people's lives who have support needs and are looking to become a part of and living in a family enviroment instead of traditional forms of care.

“Hello, my name is Maggie and I have been living in Shared Lives for two years. I have really enjoyed my time being in a family and have made lots of new friends. I have also loved learning new skills, and trying out new things. This is the first time I have rode a horse and it was absolutely brilliant. I now go to eazyfit and the Odell centre, I also go to discos to see my friends. What I do love about Droitwich, is the band in the park in the summer. I have learnt how to cook with the help of my Shared Lives carers, Jackie and Kevin, and I enjoy preparing meals.  Another bonus to living in Shared Lives is that I have been enjoying trips out and holidays. I have been to Lanzarote and this year we went to Portugal. Other places I have visited have been Blackpool, Coronation Street, BGT, Ironbridge, SS Great Britain to name a few. It is brilliant to live as part of a family and share our lives.”

 

Maggie 5 

 

Published in News

Today, Shared Lives carers met Rebecca Evans, the Minister for Social Services and Public Health to launch the annual Shared Lives Cymru State of the Nation Report 2017.

In Shared Lives, an older person can get support in a Shared Lives carer’s home, while they recover from ill-health, or after hospital treatment, or for a short-break when a family carer needs support.

This year’s report calls on social and health care commissioners to look at how they can offer Shared Lives support to older people, and those with dementia, because all too often older people are missing out on this valuable alternative to residential care.

Shared Lives carers are trained and regulated. They are matched with the older person, who needs care, so they can form a real relationship based on shared interests and experience. Having a home from home in their own community often helps an older person recover their confidence and regain independence. Once they have formed a friendship their Shared Lives carer will be there to help them cope with any health crisis in the future.

Shared Lives Chief Executive, Alex Fox, said: “Commissioners need to think more imaginatively about the services they offer, if we are to transform care in the way Welsh Government has set out in the Social Services and Well-being Act.

Shared Lives support helps older people, who often suffer more because they are isolated and alone, form a real relationship that can support them to manage even chronic health problems.”

The minister has given Shared Lives tremendous support in their campaign to bring Shared Lives services to older people and those living with dementia. She said: “Leading an independent and fulfilled life is very important to an individual’s health and well-being. Shared Lives enable some of the most vulnerable people in our society to stay in their communities and benefit from a supportive family home environment.

“We supported Shared Lives Cymru new initiative through the Intermediate Care Fund to extend their valuable support to older people, including those with dementia. By offering respite care in a home environment, older people will be able to be discharged from hospital more quickly and be supported as they regain their independence, or even avoid hospital admission altogether."

The Welsh Government awarded a further £242,460 under the Sustainable Social Services Third Sector grant from 2016-2019 to support this work to enable older people needing support to stay with a trained and regulated Shared Lives family, close to their own home and in their community.

“I would like to thank Shared Lives for the great work they do and especially the carers who open up their homes to make a positive difference to vulnerable people’s lives every day.”

Traditionally Shared Lives services have been used by adults with learning disabilities to support them to live full lives in the heart of their communities. Although not well-known Shared Lives schemes offer services across Wales.

 

You can read the full Shared Lives Cymru State of the Nation Report 2017 here.

Published in News

Our latest guest blog is from another one of our Ambassadors, Michael. In the past Michael was a part of a Shared Lives arrangement, he now lives independently. Michael’s blog is about his journey to living independently with help and support from Shared Lives along the way.

“In September 2011 I moved from fostering to Shared Lives, I lived with a Shared Lives carer 24/7 until 17th May 2012.

It was good because it helped me learn how to become independent. On the 17th May 2012, I moved from my Shared Lives arrangement into supported living, but I continued to use Shared Lives for day support

One Shared Lives carer that supported me was called Sharon. She supported me a few times a week to help me get out and about. We went to the Coronation street tour 3 times, Disney on Ice, shopping and the cinema. We had fun and many lovely times, Sharon even helped me with household tasks, like buying things for my home and supported me until October 2015. Shared Lives carer, Sharon was the best worker I've had since my mentor in 2007/08.  I still miss her but everything I’ve done and learned with Sharon will stay with me.

Coranation st Michael

I’ve had a few other Shared Lives carers in that time that didn’t always work out- but when I moved on 22 April 2015, I met Syvania. She supported me for 9 and a half hours and Sharon was also supporting me for 8 hours, Select Support Partnership were with me for 9 hours a week. I have many lovely memories with Syvania, she helped me to stop drinking fizzy pop and drink healthy fruit juice instead, and I only have fizzy pop when I’m having a mocktail or cocktail now.

My Shared Lives carers have been like a mum to me, they have patience to teach me new skills, they’ve helped to teach me to cook and clean up.

People who don’t know about Shared Lives could learn from Shared Lives carers,  they help to improve people’s life skills, go out on trips and holidays, and get you involved with community groups.

Shared Lives carers have helped me out with emotional support, given me someone to talk to, be healthier and I’ve been supported well. Everything I’ve learned with Shared Lives will help me in the future.

Shared Lives has helped me to be more organised, which means I worry less, everything is in order which means I’m less anxious now. I know how to do shopping lists, Shared Lives carers told me to check what I’ve got in before I go shopping, so I don’t buy the same stuff. I look out for offers and shop in the healthy isle. They’ve taught and showed me how to manage my money. “

Michael lives independently now and gets support from another agency but is still a part of the Shared Lives family as one of our Ambassadors.

We would like to thank Michael for writing this guest blog and sharing his story. If you are interested in telling your Shared Lives story, please email Communications Assistant, Hannah Cain at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For further information about becoming a Shared Lives carer, a member or using Shared Lives services, phone the office on 01512273499.  

 

Disney Michael

 

 

 

 

 

Published in News

This “Scaling up Shared Lives in Health” blog will focus on Bolton, where the Bolton CCG, in conjunction with GMW and Bolton Council, have been successful in receiving NHS England funding to develop Shared Lives in the area.

The new funding will enable the Shared Lives scheme, which is run by Bolton Cares (Bolton Council’s local authority trading company), to offer more arrangements for vulnerable adults to stay with trained Shared Lives carers in family homes, as an alternative to being admitted to hospital or before they return to their own home after a hospital stay.

Shared Lives is already a popular option for older people in Bolton, but this funding will mean the scheme can expand, to offer more support to people with mental health needs and offer an alternative option for people following a stay in hospital, before they return home to their own homes.

Some people have had to move outside of Bolton to receive the support they need in specialist mental health settings, but this programme will work to bring people back into Bolton, but within the support of a family home to ensure they remain safe and well within their communities.

Bolton have run a well-established Shared Lives scheme for over 30 years, and on 31st July 2016, Bolton Care and Support Ltd began trading as Bolton Cares, to continue providing a range of care and support for adults in the community, of which the Shared Lives scheme is one of the options. 

The project will provide employment for 1 new co-ordinator at Bolton Cares in the first year, as well as self-employment opportunities for many more Shared Lives carers. The closing date for the co-ordinator post is 28th February, for details please see: http://www.boltoncares.org.uk/work-with-us/

Chief Executive of Bolton Cares, John Livesey, said: “Shared Lives a wonderful service that really works for the benefit of both service users and carers. The people who use our service become part of a loving family and our carers are experienced in what they do and get so much fulfilment from helping others.

“Since forming Bolton Cares as a not-for-profit company, this is the first major funding boost for us and shows commitment from our partners to developing and improving local adult social care services. We’re delighted with the outcome and looking forward to recruiting more carers and meeting new service users.”

Dr Wirin Bhatiani, Chair of NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Over the past few months NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group has been working in partnership with Shared Lives, Bolton Council and Greater Manchester Mental Health Services (GMMHS) on a bid to access match funding for a three year project with Shared Lives Plus and NHS England. 

“I am delighted that Bolton has been awarded this funding as one of only five CCG areas across England and Wales.  The bid concentrated on improving access to Shared Lives and as a result more positive outcomes for people with mental health needs and/or learning disabilities.”

Karen Wolstenholme, Registered Manager of Shared Lives in Bolton is “delighted with the success of being able to grow and expand services in this area and looks forward to successful “matching” which will enable people to live to their lives to their full potential in the community of their choice.”

 

Published in NHS Project Blog
We have launched our Facebook page as a platform for Shared Lives carers to connect with each other, share their experiences and support each other with an online community.
 
You can find our Facebook page here.
 
We thought the best way to do this, is to have Shared Lives carer, Andy Cooke, write a guest blog about his Shared Lives arrangement with James. Andy and James, do a lot of work to promote Shared Lives, they have attended many of our events and have featured in an NHS blog.
 
Rather than us writing and telling you all a Shared Lives story, we thought that it would be best coming from a Shared Lives carer.
 
Andy Cooke wrote in and told us his story about his life with James.
 
“James and I have been in a Shared Lives arrangement, in Herts, for just over six years.  Before then James had spent over 20 years in specialist residential care. Moving into a small town community was a huge step for James and a steep learning curve for Andy and the family. Really, settling in takes time, probably about 3 years- building confidence, independence and most important for me, James having a normal life.  There have been times when James has been very poorly, numerous hospital admissions, but now with lots of things to do his health has significantly improved.
 
A couple of years ago, I asked James what sort of life he wanted. James said, ‘more friends and a paid job’. This is what we set out to do together.  James now has friends at his favourite local café and in the pub down the road. He works in the Country Market, selling tea and coffee and meeting local people. James works in a local shop, not a charity shop, gets training and has made lots of friends. He is on the last day of a 12 week course at the moment with a large supermarket- and he may be offered a paid job. Throw in some Karate, which he was told he should never do, bird watching, photography and voting for the first time in his life you have a citizen, and as James says ‘I feel part of the town’. This has taken time with me  supporting James a lot at first so that he can make those vitally important community connections."
 
James and Andy have done some work with Shared Lives Plus that has meant travel around the country and brilliant experiences for them both.
 
Andy: "All the above is good but what really matters is that James feels a part of the family.  Sitting watching some favourite programmes, having meals together, my wife Laura and James making Christmas cakes, going to Ikea, choosing and giving birthday presents, looking after Bronte, the dog and going to the pub. Pretty normal stuff really- that’s great! Anyone who would like to connect with us, talk to us, and meet with us – we would love to hear from you.”
 
You can follow Andy on Twitter: @andydcooke
 
We would like to thank Andy for writing in to us and telling his Shared Lives story. If anyone else would like to do the  same, and connect with other Shared Lives carers, please contact Hannah Cain, from the Communications team by emailing her at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 
James and Andy James at polling station
 

 
 
 
 
 
Published in News
Tuesday, 20 December 2016 11:54

What makes a special Shared Lives Christmas?

Christmas can be a hard time for many people, for various reasons. It may be financial troubles, missing loved ones or loneliness, whatever the reasons, Christmas is not always enjoyable for people.

That’s why this year we wanted to really highlight what Shared Lives carers and our care model does for people who use our services. People who have mental ill health, learning disabilities, dementia and long-term illnesses often come to Shared Lives from traditional, institutionalised care and are looking for a more independent life. Shared Lives allows them to become involved in their local community, through the help of their Shared Lives carer- they begin to create and build on goals they want to achieve, whilst living in a Shared Lives arrangement.

One Shared Lives carer highlighted this heart-warming Christmas memory with us:

“Our favourite memory is of someone who has since passed away, he was 72 when he came to stay with us. On the first Christmas Eve we heard his bedroom door clicking, on investigation, we found he kept peeping out of his room to see if Father Christmas had come yet, because he wanted to shake his hand - it brought a tear to our eyes."

Darren Shared Lives carers from Guideposts, Natalie and Darren:

“Darren always smiles his way through the year. He celebrated his 18th birthday at Centre Parks and enjoyed his first pint! We have been camping in Dartmouth, and skiing in Samoens, France at Christmas .We are going again this year and Darren has been learning to ski throughout the year.”

Throughout Christmas many Shared Lives schemes throw events and raise awareness and one scheme highlighted their favourite Christmas party from two years ago.

Bettertogether ( formerly Shared Lives Scheme Newham) had a memorable wonderful Christmas get together party and got a grant of £500 (five hundred!!!) from Shared Lives Plus.

Anne Kasibante, from Bettertogether: "I still salivate when I think of the food..People danced and we had time to spread christmas cheer."

 One thing we love to do at Christmas with Shared Lives is to really try and spend time together and build our relationships with schemes, Shared Lives carers and Ambassadors.

Jenni Kirkham, NHS Programme Officer and our Ambassador, Michael shared their favourite Christmas moment with us- it was the day they first met each other.

Jenni and Michael 2

They wrote this together: “These photos are from last Christmas- it was brilliant because it was the first time we had all met each other and started a lovely friendship between all of us. We all met up 

again for Michael’s birthday early in the year, and went to watch The Jungle Book at the cinema. Michael baked flapjacks for us to eat in the film- much better Jenni and Michael 2than popcorn! We’re all looking forward to another Christmas together again this year, because we will get to spend a day together and see each other again. Jenni is especially looking forward to eating the Christmas cake that Michael made with her mum Judith earlier this year!

For many Shared Lives carers Christmas is as special for them, as the people they share their life, home and family with.

Lisa Gunn, 47, from Gateshead Shared Lives scheme, looks after a 93 year old lady. She believes that despite their age difference they have developed a fabulous friendship in the last 18 months.

She said: “The special times Grace and I share together are the simplest. We sit next to each other on the sofa having heart to hearts, daily moans and groans, laughs and tears along the way, as good friends sharing quality time together so often do. She is an absolute pleasure to be with.

Heather Cooke, from one of our partner organisations PSS, sent us these lovely pictures from first PSS TRIO Christmas Party.

John and Eva

This was the first PSS TRIO Christmas Party John and Eva have attended since John was diagnosed with Dementia. They both really enjoyed themselves and felt fully supported.

They had light entertainment from a local Drama School and a Christmas sing along which was enjoyed by all.

We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who sent in all their greatest Christmas memories and moments, over the years. It really is a great way for everyone to see the value of Shared Lives, and how much of a difference our care model makes to peoples lives, not just at Christmas but all year round.

You can see more pictures and Christmas memories by following our Twitter account: @SharedLivesPlus. and you can also join in by using #SharedLivesFestiveFun to publish all your Christmas pictures and moments with Shared Lives!

Published in News

Shared Lives has been overwhelmed by responses to our request for Christmas memories and moments, over the years.

This year we wanted to celebrate Christmas with a look back at how Shared Lives carers and the people they open their life, home and family too, celebrate the festive season.

We have been inundated with heart-warming, fun and meaningful memories from Shared Lives carers and schemes.

This year’s Christmas theme is to showcase the relationships developed through Shared Lives- and what it means to the people who use our services.

We also wanted to show everyone what a Christmas with Shared Lives is all about- as many of our Shared Lives carers may not use social media.

One Shared Lives carer, Loraine Muir, sent me her greatest Christmas moment with Leslie, who she has known for 13 years.

Leslie 1

 “I am Lori, a Shared Lives Carer in Horsham with the West Sussex Scheme. In that capacity I have known Leslie, a sixty year old gentleman, for thirteen years. Last year following a significant bereavement I thought it would be a positive experience for us both to visit Longleat Festival of Light with my Daughter and Grandchildren.

We stayed nearby the night before so we could make the most of the day. It was everything I had hoped for and more. From seeing all the magnificent animals to the boat ride, it was immensely enjoyable for our three generation group. However, as Leslie loves birds the daytime highlights was feeding the colourful Lorikeets, and the Parrot show, which made him laugh out loud. 

Leslie 3

As it grew dark and the lights were turned on the atmosphere became completely magical. We walked around the visual displays in awe and wonder. The many photographs taken were put in an album for Leslie and he proudly took it with him to show to his friends. It was a very special and uplifting occasion for us all but it was particularly heart-warming to see how much Leslie enjoyed himself.”Leslie 5

 

We would like to thank Loraine for sharing one of her and Leslie's favourite festive moments, and everyone else who has sent theirs in to us. Merry Christmas from everyone at Shared Lives, please continue to send in all your best Christmas memories and pictures spent with Shared Lives!

 

 

 

 

 

Published in News
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HOLIDAY STORIES – Share your holiday experiences here!

 

August 2015

Geoffrey visits Suffolk!

In August 2015 Geoffrey from the Ealing Shared Lives scheme went on Holiday to Suffolk to stay with Sally and Brian. The fortnight was packed full of activities.
Geoffrey’s visit took in Thorpness, ships at Felixstowe, Ipswich Museum, and Framlington Castle. Ice Creams were shared, walks taken and there was even a trip to see the BBC Concert Orchestra!

Geoffrey experienced the camper van lifestyle – along with the family dogs, ate fish and chips and drank tea in the open air, and overall a fantastic time was had by all.
Catherine from Ealing Shared Lives scheme tell us that “Geoffrey had a lovely time with Sally and Brian. His carer said he keeps talking about his stay in Suffolk”


You can read the full story and look at the holiday snaps in this document here. Geoffreys_holiday.pdf

 

June 2015 

Joe Waring is a holiday carer in Norfolk, who with his family support up to nine different individuals each year, mostly from the London borough of Wandsworth. Most people come several times a year and sometimes with a friend.
Joe wrote about two people who come for holidays.


June, who is 52 years old, comes to stay 6 or 7 times a year, having first come about 6 years ago. She sometimes comes on her own, and sometimes with a friend. She is very close to her mother and brother, and I think she likes being part of another family: myself, my wife and our 18 year old daughter. June’s mother is also reassured that the care for June focuses on her individual needs. June is very sociable and has a great sense of humour. She loves meeting our friends either at our house or theirs, and having a laugh, sharing stories and food and, I’m afraid, sharing a glass of wine, too! We go out every day to somewhere of interest in Norfolk, either in Norwich, where we live, in the nearby Norfolk Broads countryside, or to the coast. June particularly likes seeing the horse she recently “adopted” in a local horse sanctuary, and going to the amusements at Great Yarmouth. June always brings enough money to buy presents from Norfolk for her family and friends back in London.

Jack has also been coming to us for about 6 years. He always brings a pool cue and enjoys going to the local ten-pin bowling alley to bowl and play pool. He has been beating me at both for all of those 6 years, and I’m getting a bit tired waiting for his luck to run out! Jack especially likes our dog, Daisy, and volunteers to join us walking her every day. Like June, who he sometimes comes with, Jack is very sociable and always wants to meet our friends and family. He will sometimes help prepare a meal for a dinner party, and likes to dress up for the occasion in his best clothes. Jack likes going to museums- there are some great ones in Norfolk- and has recently gone a couple of times to the local cathedral to light a candle in memory of his father. Before he first did this, Jack had never gone into a church since his father’s funeral 10 years previously. Although Jack usually stays with a friend, he always comes on his own a few weeks before Christmas, when he buys presents for all his family, and wraps and tags them all carefully before taking them home.

Thanks Joe for sharing the stories and offering wonderful holiday experiences

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