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Hannah Cain

Hannah Cain

Tuesday 21 November 2017
Shared Lives Plus celebrates 25 years providing #RealCare across the UK
Liverpool based national charity Shared Lives Plus is set to hold their biggest UK conference to mark their 25th anniversary celebrations at the Liverpool Hilton hotel, 21-22 November.
Over 200 delegates, from Shared Lives and HomeShare schemes and carers are travelling from around the UK to hear the event be opened by The Right Worshipful The Lord Mayor, Councillor Malcolm Kennedy. The charity is celebrating their anniversary where the first Shared Lives scheme was set-up, in Liverpool, which is now run by PSS. The conference will be co-chaired by Shared Lives Ambassadors, Lisa Capewell and Phoebe Verity, alongside Dyane Aspinall, Interim Director of Adult Social Care, Liverpool City Council.

Shared Lives is where people who need support, move in with, or regularly visit, a trained Shared Lives carer. Together they share home and family life. We’ve recently started the campaign - #Welcomehome to #RealCare to show the amazing support that Shared Lives carers give every day to people when they leave hospital or live with mental ill health, or long-term conditions and learning disabilities. HomeShare is where someone wants some practical help or peace of mind - and has a spare room, offers someone a room, who has time to give and needs somewhere lovely to live. It reduces loneliness amongst older and younger people and helps tackle the housing crisis.
Alex Fox, CEO, Shared Lives Plus, said:
“This year’s conference is our biggest so far, celebrating 25 years as a national membership organisation, supporting Shared Lives schemes in almost every area of the UK and 10,000 carers who open their homes to support people who need extra support to live well. We are proud of how far we’ve come and look forward to growing Shared Lives and HomeShare to help build stronger relationships and local communities.”

Tony Hunter, Chief Executive of the Social Care Institute for Excellence is the keynote speaker and has supported Shared Lives Plus’ work for many years. He says:
“It is great to celebrate Shared Lives Plus’ milestone anniversary and to speak at their biggest conference in history. Across health and social care, we continue to have national and local discussions which re-imagine how the social care sector can support people to lead good lives, in good places for people with long-term support needs. Shared Lives Plus is working in partnership with the NHS towards providing better care for patients leaving hospital. Shared Lives and Homeshare are a big part of these discussions, they have been around for a long time and are innovative models from across the world.”

If you would like to become a Shared Lives carer or know of anyone who would like to HomeShare, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or ring 0151 227 3499.
Notes to Editors
Shared Lives Plus:
Shared Lives Plus’s UK wide network of local, regulated Shared Lives schemes individually match trained and approved Shared Lives carers with people who need their support. There is a Shared Lives scheme in almost every local authority area.
Shared Lives
Shared Lives is based on matching the individual with a specific Shared Lives carer: both parties meet and make a choice to share their lives with each other over 3-6 months before any supports package starts. It is about personalised support to suit the needs of the person, providing real care to encourage independence.

Homeshare UK

Homeshare enables two unrelated people to share a home for mutual benefit. The Homesharer benefits from low cost accommodation, while the Householder receives companionship and practical help in and around their home.
For more information please contact Communications Manager, Phoebe Rowell, on 07392 313500 or by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Communications Assistant, Hannah Cain on 07391418531 or by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


It is only five weeks to our UK Conference
UK Conference – 21st and 22nd November 2017
What: The only national learning event for people involved in Shared Lives and Homeshare - we will learn from each other and expert facilitators, hear from national leaders, and celebrate Shared Lives.  This year’s theme is Celebrating 25 years of Shared Lives Plus
Where:  Hilton Hotel Liverpool City Centre L1 8LW
When: 21st November (AGM, evening meal) and 22nd November conference.
Just to let you know that
We have made some changes to the workshop line up;
We have amalgamated two of the morning workshops into one “Meet the Chair and CEO of Shared Lives Plus and Help Line Live” and added another workshop “Safeguarding in Shared Lives”.  In the afternoon we have replaced the Whose Line is it Anyway” workshop with Recruiting Shared Lives carers”
Places to attend Conference have gone very fast;
⦁ There are only two 2 day passes for Conference, dinner and reception remaining.
⦁ One day passes for conference are becoming limited and several workshops are already full or nearly full.
If you would like to attend Conference please complete and return the attached booking form as soon as possible to secure your place, preferably before 1st November 2017 to allow us to finalise numbers and arrangements.
Tuesday, 03 October 2017 15:42

The Emperor’s new clothes

Geraldine Cooney, NHS Programme Regional Officer for Shared Lives Plus, writes a guest blog about her work  on the Shared Lives Plus programme with NHS England.
Working on the Shared Lives Plus NHS programme with NHS England, I’ve been hearing a lot about health and social care integration. I’ve been reading and learning about how integration will empower patients to take control of their lives, how it will ‘dissolve the classic divide… between family doctors and hospitals, between physical and mental health, between health and social care, between prevention and treatment.’ 

Integration and personalisation is the cornerstone of all current NHS and government policies. There’s an awful lot of information out there – run a search online and you will be swamped- one study found 175 definitions of integrated care! The Better Care Fund is the main lever bringing health and social care organisations together to plan, fund and commission integrated services.  Personal Health Budgets (PHB’s), with support focused on how people want to live rather than just their health needs, are another important part of the integration agenda. It would be hard to disagree with any of these sensible ideas of joined up services and person centred care – integrated services that value people as individuals fits perfectly with the ethos and model of Shared Lives.  Our NHS programme is therefore well placed as part of the integration agenda, sitting within NHS England’s Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC) service.

But what does integration mean in practice and how will we know if it is actually happening? I started to wonder about this back in February when an Audit Office report concluded that integration has been slower and less successful than envisaged. It found that although the Better Care Fund has increased joint working, this integration has not delivered better outcomes for patients, the NHS or Local Authorities. A further report from the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) identified problems for integrated working as conflicting polices, different funding systems, different eligibility criteria for health and social care service and separate governance arrangements. SCIE said that the focus of integration on improving systems and processes didn’t necessarily translate into better care; they highlighted a need to identify what good integration actually looks and feels like to people using services.

It seems that putting integration into practice is harder than producing buzzwords and policy documents; and our experience at Shared Lives Plus certainly bears this out.  We have found some disconnect between government and NHS policy and what is happening on a local level within Clinical Commissioning Groups and Local Authorities. Many of us at Shared Lives are having conversations with health commissioners and hospital discharge teams, but the referrals coming in are via the usual routes – from social work teams who know and understand the Shared Lives model of old. Personal Health Budget’s sound like the ideal mechanism for funding Shared Lives arrangements, but we have not yet seen this happening in any significant way.

There have been times when I’ve felt like one of the townsfolk going along with the excitement about the Emperor’s magnificent new clothes, when in fact he is naked and nobody dares create upset by pointing this out. There is clearly much work still to be done in raising awareness of Shared Lives, in accessing referrals via integrated pathways and pooled budgets. In some areas of the country Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC) demonstrator sites do appear to have clear ideas about commissioning Shared Lives through health, but in other areas it is very early days for the integrated systems, and too soon to see the effects in terms of funding Shared Lives arrangements.

On the positive side, we do have successes to share.  I’ve been encouraged by seeing first-hand how health and social care integration is being played out in some of our match funded areas.  Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG’s), Local authorities and Shared Lives schemes are talking to each other and demonstrating a real enthusiasm for doing things differently. New relationships are being formed, awareness and understanding has increased on both sides, and new pathways and processes are starting to take shape.  Some of our colleagues have found new ways of working with health and social care commissioners.  For example, Bolton Shared Lives scheme are sitting on the joint allocation panels at the CCG, where Shared Lives is the first option for care and support. Bolton are also receiving referrals into Shared Lives via the community mental health teams.

Our team recently visited Northumberland Shared Lives to learn from schemes working in health outside our match funded programme.  Northumbria NHS are a NHS England vanguard site trying a new model of care called a ‘Multi speciality Community Provider’ (MCP).  Julie Shepherd, the Shared Lives manager told us how having shared offices, shared back-office systems and pooled budgets means that awareness of Shared Lives is high in both health and social care in Northumbria, resulting in seamless commissioning and funding pathways.  In this environment Julie says;  ‘accessing Shared lives is an ‘open door’ for health and social care professionals’. I found it really refreshing to see Shared Lives Northumberland positioned as the first option on the ‘Accomodation and Care homes’ page of the Northumbria NHS website (above Care homes!).

We all know the pressures on the NHS; perhaps we just need to be more patient. There is change in the offing – the government’s aim is for health and social care integration by 2020 and an ‘integration standard’ is being developed – to show what ‘good’ looks like. NHS England have produced an expansion plan for personal health budgets with targets for CCG’s to meet. NHS England say that PHB’s should now be routinely offered; they expect the number of people with PHB’s to increase rapidly, becoming ‘business as usual’ by 2021.

We know that integration aims to close the divide between people and the professionals who serve them and that it should start and end with people, not structures.
National voices came up with the following definition after talking to people about the meaning of integration;‘my care is planned with people who work together to understand me and my carer(s), put me in control, coordinate and deliver services to achieve my best outcomes’
It seems that integration is playing out in a variety of ways and no one model will suit all contexts. People themselves are the best integrators of care; and they will know if it’s happening, or not. We all want to see change from the ground up; our NHS project will be highlighting integration challenges as well as success stories that enable and transform peoples’ lives.
Position:  Shared Lives Area Co-ordinator.
Salary:      £21,000 - £26,000 - depending on experience.
Location: Stourbridge, Dudley MBC and surrounding areas.
For our exciting new initiative, we are looking for someone who is passionate about Shared Lives and displays real insight into the benefits it can bring to people who wish to live within a community setting. You will be involved in the continued development of an ever growing scheme, where you will have opportunity to influence its working practices. You should have a sound understanding of the Shared Lives model and knowledge of the local area and its amenities. If you are hard-working, ambitious and want to be part of an innovative new scheme, then this is the post for you.
The Camphill Village Trust (CVT) is an established, well respected and progressive UK charity supporting adults with learning disabilities, mental ill health and other support needs in their home life, work, social and cultural activities, throughout nine urban and rural communities in England. The Camphill philosophy recognises the uniqueness of the individual and we seek to respect, value and enhance the strengths and potential of each person we support in a contemporary context.
Our communities are well resourced and offer a rich mix of social, cultural and enterprise/work/activities opportunities for the people they support and those who work there.  Our vision, is for each CVT community to be at the centre of a network of Shared Lives arrangements, creating social capital within the wider community and local neighbourhoods.
This approach will not only enable CVT to deliver a broader range of housing and support options, but also provide the Shared Lives Carers and the people they care for, with opportunities to join in the social life of each community. This will create the potential for new relationships and connections so as to strengthen a sense of support and belonging.
This is a challenging but rewarding new role and to succeed you will require a thorough understanding of Shared Lives and its potential.  Therefore, we will expect you to be creative, dedicated and have an explicit value base. We expect you to have excellent IT and organisational skills to support you in this dynamic post.  You must also be able to develop effective working relationships with care managers and practitioners, be able to recruit, assess, train and supervise carers, as well as having the intuition and practical skills for managing a case load on a day to day basis.
This is a new position, so there is some flexibility around your working routine, however, your base will be at our offices in Dudley Borough, alongside the potential for working from home.
To find out more about this exciting new role, please take the opportunity to speak with Dean Barnshaw on 07984 896010 before applying on-line at: www.cvt.org.uk 
Closing date for applications: 12 Noon Wednesday 4th October 2017
Interviews to be held in Stourbridge, Dudley on Wednesday 18th October 2017

Job Description
Job Role:  Area Co-ordinator Shared Lives Scheme (West Midlands) 
Salary Scale:   £21,000 - £26,000 per annum + car allowance
Location:   Stourbridge (also opportunity to work from home on occasion)
Accountable to:  Shared Lives Registered Manager
Job Objectives
1. To support the Registered Manager in the delivery of a high quality Shared Lives Scheme for the Camphill Village Trust across the Borough of Dudley and surrounding Black Country/West Midlands area.
2. To hold an allocated caseload and have day-to-day responsibility for the supervision and monitoring of the respective Shared Lives Carers and the people we support in each arrangement.
3. To maintain the compliance of the Shared Lives Scheme with all Care Quality Commission (CQC) Fundamental Standards for Regulation and Inspection.
4. To work in accordance with the required Shared Lives Plus Guidance Notes and CVT Policies and Procedures.
5. To ensure the scheme meets all Local Safeguarding Adults Board requirements.
6. To contribute to the marketing, recruiting, assessing, inducting and training of all new Shared Lives Carers.
7. To undertake regular Shared Lives Carer supporting and monitoring visits so as to maintain each Arrangement.
8. To develop and maintain positive working relationships with health and social care practitioners/care managers/commissioners at an operational level.
9. To work where relevant in partnership with existing Shared Lives Schemes within the Region.
10. To work collaboratively with other CVT staff members to find ways in which the regional Shared Lives Scheme can contribute to the local community for mutual benefit.
11. To promote and positively represent the CVT Shared Lives Scheme within the Trust, the region and nationally.
12. To provide an Out-Of-Hours support service to all Shared Lives Carers within the scheme.
Main duties and responsibilities
1. Manage the operational responsibilities of the Regional CVT Shared Lives Scheme
1.1 Work with the Registered Manager and Development Manager to establish a new Shared Lives Scheme in the region that is recognised for delivering high quality support to its stakeholders.
1.2 Ensure that the Scheme infrastructure of policies, procedures, systems and processes are maintained and aligned with CVT policies and procedures, meeting the sector’s best practice standards at all times.
1.3 Work with the Registered Manager to recruit, select, assess, induct, provide ongoing training and regularly supervise Shared Lives Carers.
1.4 To support the Registered Manager in maintaining all regulated activities and develop excellent relationships with the Care Quality Commission to ensure Outstanding/Good inspection reports.
1.5 To undertake regular training and supervision/appraisal to ensure best practice standards and thus promotes the effective delivery of Shared Lives Arrangements.
1.6 Work with the Registered Manager to maximise the marketing potential in local communities for the effective recruitment of Carers.
1.7 To develop and maintain positive working partnerships with relevant agencies, organisations and teams essential to the health and growth of the CVT Shared Lives Scheme.
1.8 Maintain an up-to-date knowledge of legislative and national/regional policy developments that impact upon the Shared Lives Scheme.
1.9 With support from the Registered Manager, develop, agree and implement care/risk management plans that will ensure the safety and well-being of all those involved in the Shared Lives Scheme.
1.10 To ensure the completion of all necessary reviews, assessment reports, documentation, file records and any other paperwork required by the role.
1.11 To undertake Shared Lived Carer Pre-Approval and Re-Approval Assessments prior to being submitted to the Independent Panel.
1.12 To provide Out-Of-Hours support to all CVT Shared Lives Carers and immediately report any serious concerns to the Registered Manager and CQC if necessary.
1.13 To oversee the organising and attendance of regular Carer Forums and social events for the Shared Lives Scheme.
2. Develop and maintain positive relationships with practitioners/commissioners
2.1 Work with the Registered Manager to identify and engage with local commissioners in the region.
2.2 Ensure excellent understanding among commissioning teams of the CVT Shared Lives Scheme and its potential through regular meetings.
2.3 Develop and maintain excellent links with front-line Practitioners and Care Managers to promote the Shared Lives Scheme and ensure a clear referral pathway.
2.4 In discussion with the Registered Manager and in liaison with Referring Agency, oversee the matching between the Person receiving the service and the Shared Lives Carers.
2.5 Where relevant to work in partnership with existing Shared Lives Schemes within the Region.
3. Work collaboratively with the Registered Manager to identify opportunities to connect Shared Lives Arrangements with the CVT community for mutual benefit
3.1 Maintain excellent links with the wider CVT staff team through regular briefings on the development of the Shared Lives scheme.
3.2 With other Shared Lives colleagues, work with the wider CVT staff team to identify opportunities, to enable local Shared Lives families to link with and contribute to the life of the local community.
3.3 With the Registered Manager and the Development Manager, develop and design an approach that will bring together the resources of the local CVT community and that of the Shared Lives family, to offer a Shared Lives Extra service to people with more complex needs.
3.4 Promote and oversee the delivery of the Shared Lives Extra service, constantly reviewing to ensure that it meets the needs of all parties and delivers excellent outcomes.
4. Promote and positively represent the CVT Shared Lives Scheme within CVT, regionally and nationally
4.1 Raise awareness of the value of the Shared Lives model with a range of regional and local stakeholders, working with the CVT communications team. Ensure early success stories are widely circulated.
4.2. Write articles for the trade press, the CVT website and regional media.
4.3 Deliver presentations at relevant events to raise awareness and promote the Shared Lives model.
4.4 Represent CVT at national and regional events.
5. Contribute to the effective administration of the Camphill Village Trust
5.1 To record all information correctly and in accordance with data protection protocols.
5.2 In support of the Registered Manager, contribute to budgeting and financial planning of the scheme.
5.3 To monitor the finances of the people we support in each arrangement, using existing procedures.
5.4 Ensure that the Shared Lives Carers are paid regularly and correctly, as in accordance with the payments bandings, housing benefit and board & lodging.
5.5 To ensure that all contact sheets, data bases and spreadsheets etc are kept up to date and accurate.
6. Working Practice
6.1 Engage in continuous self-development and training, working towards NVQ Level 3 in Health & Social Care as a minimum.
6.2 Work in a way which promotes diversity, equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice.
6.3 Operate at all times in a way that is consistent with CVT’s legal responsibilities including health and safety legislation and guidance.
6.4 Work in accordance with CVT’s aims and objectives and policies and procedures and promote a positive image of the organisation at all time.
7. Any other duties
Undertake such other duties as may reasonably be required, commensurate with the level of the post and the needs of the organisation.
Person specification:
Criteria  How identified
Qualification ⦁ Working towards QCF Level 3 in Health and Social Care or equivalent  AF
⦁ Support and monitoring of carers and people who use services.
⦁ Successful day-to-day management of a case load.
⦁ Reliable team member of a successful community development/voluntary sector service.
⦁ Contributing thoughts and ideas to the continued development of a community service.
⦁ Facilitating training/workshops for carers and contributing to development of its content.
⦁ An ability to work as part of a close-knit team and in partnership/liaising with other professionals. AF, I, R
⦁ An understanding of Shared Lives and the philosophy underpinning the work and the sector.
⦁ Understanding of quality assurance and safeguarding practice in social care.
⦁ Knowledge and understanding of relevant government policies and legislation.
⦁ An understanding of the ways in which support can be funded, commissioned and delivered, including self-directed support and personalised approaches.
⦁ An understanding of how to apply for housing and welfare benefits in support of the people that access Shared Lives.
⦁ Knowledge of the challenges and opportunities facing the statutory and voluntary sectors. AF, I, P
Skills ⦁ Able to engage confidently and constructively with other professionals, carers and people living in and working in Shared Lives schemes.
⦁ Excellent presentation, communication and report writing/assessment skills.
⦁ Effective organisation and time management skills.
⦁ Able to work flexibly and creatively using own initiative.
⦁ Competent IT skills and an ability to update data bases and maintain online files.
⦁ An ability to develop robust links and partnerships across organisations and sectors. AF, I , R
⦁ Commitment to empowering people who use services and their families, promoting their rights and services which are user-led, personalised and self-directed.
⦁ Demonstrable commitment to working in ways which promote equality of opportunity.
⦁ Values the principles of co-production and partnership working.
⦁ Commitment to continuous professional development.
⦁ A willingness to positively contribute to all aspects of the service, ‘think outside of the box’ with a ‘can do’ approach. AF, I, R
 ⦁ Ability to work the hours dictated by the needs and demands of the job (including evenings and weekends).
⦁ Able to travel as and when required by the job. AF, I
Key:       AF:     Application Form             I:    Interview             R:    References      P: Presentation
Employment terms:
⦁ The appointment is subject to a six-month review period, which may be subject to extension. To successfully complete your review period, you will be expected to complete your common induction standards within a three-month period. To successfully complete your review period, you will be expected to complete your common induction standards within a three-month period and the relevant QCF qualification (if applicable) within an agreed period.  You will also be expected to be able to evidence you are able to apply your learning, training and skills to support people in a way that embodies the 10 facilitation skills that support Great Interactions with people we support, through person centred thinking and planning, using people’s preferred method of communication and are focussed on providing outcomes for people we support that promotes increased choice and control.
⦁ Hours: 37.5 hours per week Monday to Friday. 
⦁ People’s Pension is our pension provider.  We make a contribution at the statutory rates if you have been auto-enrolled. We also have an enhanced scheme, where if you increase your contributions to 10% of gross pay then we continue 6%.
⦁ Holiday entitlement is 6.6 weeks =33days or 247.50 hours (inclusive of public holidays).
⦁ Sick pay entitlement is 4 weeks after one month, increasing to 8 weeks after 3 years, 12 weeks after 5 years.
⦁ Notice – four weeks.
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.

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.
Welsh Assembly Shadow Social Service Spokesperson, Suzy Davies, found out first-hand this week about the fantastic support Shared Lives is providing in her constituency. Suzy, who is AM for South West Wales, met 72-year-old Vernon in the Swansea home he’s shared with Shared Lives carer Margaret Millson for 16 years.
Vernon, who will soon be celebrating his 73rd birthday, lives an active life in the community with support from Margaret and her partner Eddie. He works in his local supermarket for a few hours a week, and gets out and about regularly thanks to his free bus pass. Vernon was taken into care aged just two and was looked after by Nuns in Swansea until the late 1990s, when he moved to a residential home. The move didn’t suit him at all and he didn’t thrive there, so Swansea social services suggested Shared Lives. Vernon hasn’t looked back!
Over coffee and biscuits he told Ms Davies, an active campaigner for stronger communities, all about Shared Lives and what the service meant to him. But they discovered they shared another passion – a love of the city of Swansea. Ms Davies grew up there and it wasn’t long before the two were happily sharing reminiscences and talking about all the changes they’ve seen over the years!
The visit was a real eye-opener for Ms Davies, and she was able to see first-hand how Shared Lives helps people live active, fulfilling lives in the heart of their communities. She also got an insight into what makes a Shared Lives carer.

Margaret along with her partner Eddie have been Shared Lives carers for around 18 years now, supporting Vernon since 2001.  Margaret had worked as an Auxiliary Nurse before moving to Swansea and becoming a Shared Lives carer.  Along with Vernon, she’s also provided long-term support and short-breaks to other people who need just a little help to stay independent and active.
The visit was organised as part of Wales Shared Lives Development Team’s work connecting Shared Lives carers and the people they support to local politicians. The aim is to make sure politicians see first-hand the great work Shared Lives is doing in their constituency.
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 


Nottinghamshire residents of a caring nature are being encouraged to consider becoming Shared Lives carers to offer long-term support or short breaks to vulnerable adults. 
The County Council currently has 58 Shared Lives carer households, which offer long-term accommodation and support or short breaks for older people, people with a physical or learning disability, or individuals with mental health needs. 
A further 20 households across the county who have availability in their home and are willing to offer support are needed, so more people can benefit from the scheme. 
All carers receive training and ongoing support and are paid according to the needs of the person or people who they care for. 
Terri-Ann Davies, 27, spends 28 days a year spread out as short breaks with Jean Bere who lives on a farm in Everton, Bassetlaw. 
Terri-Ann, who lives in Mansfield with her parents, is partially deaf and has a learning disability and Jean has been a Shared Lives carer for three years. 
Father Gary explains “Shared Lives is a godsend. Terri-Ann stays over at a proper working farm so experiences different things to when she is at home with us and loves all of the animals there. 
It’s an unwinding, relaxing break for her and gives us time to do things we aren’t able to do when Terri-Ann is around. We are going away to play French boules in Jersey during our next break.” 
Terri-Ann said: “I have been to many different places with Shared Lives but meeting Jean and her family is the best I’ve done. We do things like feed the animals and collect the eggs from the chickens in the woods and when I stay for a longer period of time, we do other things. The only downside of the farm is getting up so early because I like my bed!
When I’m away from home I know Mum and Dad get worried but it is reassuring for them to know I’m safe and happy.” 
Jean said: “We moved to the farm four years ago and being closer to nature is very therapeutic so I wanted to share this with other people. 
I have an agricultural degree and have previously worked with people with autism in a care home, so Shared Lives seemed the perfect challenge for me and the farm. 
I get just as much out of it as Terri-Ann, as it is so rewarding to see her grow in confidence and she has a great sense of humour and a lively character. She helps out on the farm, but we also do other fun activities like swimming and baking cakes. 
As Terri-Ann is in a different environment I think she is more willing to try new things, develop her skills and she is a real joy to be around."
I have enjoyed looking after two other young people as part of the scheme and I’m looking forward to having another person to stay at the farm in the coming months.” 
Helen Hall, Senior Shared Lives Coordinator at the Council, said: “Jean does a fantastic job supporting Terri-Ann but you don’t have to have a farm to be a Shared Lives carer. 
You just need room in your home and sometime to support a person with a disability or an older person and the arrangements can range from a couple of weekends a year to offering a longer-term home.” 
Nottinghamshire 1
Anyone who is interested in becoming a Shared Lives carer can visit www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/sharedlives, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 0300 500 80 80. 

Emma and Tommy O’Connor receive MBE for 50 years of caring.

“It was a shock, you do what you do for the love of it. The Doctor’s at our local Silkworth health centre put us forward for the MBE. The Doctor’s held a big party for me and Tommy, it was a lovely surprise. All our family were there- and the children we had brought up over the years in fostering. We gave the Doctor’s a photograph of us with the queen, it’s up in the health centre, Tommy and I getting our MBE’s.”
Emma and Tommy O’Connor, from Silkworth in Sunderland, who have been married for 57 years have been recently honoured with a MBE for over 50 years of caring.
The couple who became Foster carers in 1968, eight years after getting married, were among the list of nominees being honoured by the Queen. Emma and Tommy have been honoured for over 50 years of care, as Foster Carers and their current role as Shared Lives carers.
Emma and Tommy have looked after two ladies from when they were three and five months old. They became Shared Lives carers so they could continue to support Silvia and Margret into adult life.
Emma said: “It was lovely, the queen presented it, and she spoke to me for ages, she was so down to earth. The Queen asked us how long you think you’ll be caring for? Tommy said how long is a piece of string? The Queen burst out laughing.”
Unfortunately, one of the ladies they supported passed away, Silvia died at 36, she had severe difficulties, Emma and Tommy had fostered her from three months old. They became Shared Lives carers when Shared Lives first started so they could keep Silvia in the family.
We wanted to know why Emma chose Shared Lives, she said: “Because I had the ladies that long, and they didn’t want to move on. They’re part of the family, you can’t tell them to move on, and you help them, that’s what you do. It is very difficult to get people with special needs placed, we knew them and we wanted them to be safe.”
After becoming Shared Lives carers to support Silvia into adulthood, Emma and Tommy naturally became Shared Lives carers for Margret.
Emma said: “Margret bakes, makes cup of teas, she loves water and bubbles so you have to watch her, but she has come on loads, we’re really proud of her. We treat them like our own, they are our own- and we really love them like our own. Margret is doing work experience at a garden centre at the moment, we take her.  She left her IPad at the centre recently, Tommy offered to take her over the next day to get it. Margret ended up getting two buses by herself that day, there and back, I was over the moon and so proud- but I told her that Tommy would have taken her.”
We asked Emma and Tommy what is the secret to caring and supporting people for over 50 years, from childhood into their adult life.
Emma said: “It makes a big difference if you’re helping them all you can, and steering them in the right direction, we teach them as much as we can- and to be independent. You have to treat the people you support like your own, part of the family. I miss Silvia so much, the day centre she used to go to made us a lovely teddy bear and cushion from clothes she had left there before she passed away,  and  a polar neck she wore, it said ‘ A hug when you need it’, they thought the world of her.”
Shared Lives Plus would like to thank Emma and Tommy for sharing their story with us and congratulate them on their amazing recognition for their services to care for the last 50 years.
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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