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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

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

We have been sharing memories of Shared Lives carers and people who use our services since last week.

We have been sent all different types of special memories, from meeting Peter Andre, people performing in a Panto, holidays, day trips or a special Christmas day shared with family. We decided to put together a post of memories that are more than the 140 characters Twitter allows.

Here are some stories that Shared Lives carers and Shared Lives Plus staff have told us about and what the memory means to them.

Shared Lives carer, Kelly Harrington and Brenda Barley in Redditch.

“Last Christmas, we had a family Christmas together- the weekend before Christmas Day. Everyone was heading off to visit other family members for the big day, and we wanted to have our family time together. Brenda loved sharing time with kids and watching them open their gifts and was delighted with her necklace from us all. It was lovely to see lots of smiles from her and to share a very special day. “

Shared Lives carer, Margret Long.

“I have two young Ladies with me now.  Adele came in August 2012, and Esther came in September 2016. They get on really well together and are like Sisters now. Last year was Esther’s first Christmas with me- so I wanted to make it extra special for her. She was amazed at how many presents she had to open. We went to my Sisters (who is also a Shared Lives carer) for a slap up family, Christmas dinner. A great time had by all. Adele was at her Sisters last year on Christmas day but is looking forward to spending it with us this year. We also paid a visit to the pantomime over the festive period… "


Shared Lives carer, Karen Havinga.

“We have had a great Christmas so far. I care for Lizzie and we all had fun ice skating at Webbs a few weeks ago.  It was Lizzie's first time and my son's. My sister and I haven't been since we were kids! 


Also some shared lives friends and their individuals and me, my husband, son and Lizzie all went bowling on Monday afternoon for a Christmas bowling party. We all had a fun afternoon and it's so fabulous all getting together.”


Our last Christmas memory for this post is Shared Lives carer, Pat Haines, telling us one of Stephen’s greatest Christmas moments.


 “Stephen enjoys singing in the Tuesday Club choir.  This year they raised £570 for the Liverpool City Mission, this money is going to help feed the homeless at Christmas. Stephen joined the club when he joined shared lives.”

 We will be highlighting more #SharedLivesFestiveFun memories and moments throughout the week, in the run-up to Christmas, 2016. Thank you, to everyone for taking the time to send all your pictures and Shared Lives Christmas  experiences in, it is very much appreciated!

Stephen pic 












Published in News