Text Size
Tom Giblin

Tom Giblin

This week we will be showcasing Shared Lives and Homeshare at the National Children and Adult Services conference in Bournemouth.

 Shared Lives and Homeshare are personalised and community based approaches to care and support. Looking to develop Shared Lives or Homeshare in your area ? Those attending can find out more about our work and partnerships by visiting us at stand D14.

Not going to NCAS ? You can read our pdfShared Lives Plus Strategic Advice and Support Brochure for more information about what we can offer.

Shared Lives was highlighted this week as the best performing model in social care, again. Find out more here

The health and care system is still providing 'good care' but struggling to cope with increasing demand and rising costs, Shared Lives offers an effective way for disabled and older people to get the support they need to live well according to the CQC's annual State of Care report released today. 

The report highlights the unique role of Shared Lives, a UK-wide approach which involves matching people who need care and support with carefully trained and approved Shared Lives carers who welcome others into their homes, either to live as part of a long term Shared Lives arrangement, for short breaks or for day support.

Alex Fox, CEO of Shared Lives Plus says, “This year’s CQC report on the State of health and care in England once again shows that Shared Lives outperforms all other forms of regulated social care. 

The inspectors identify the reasons for this as: teams of staff and Shared Lives carers who are ‘dedicated, enthusiastic and motivated by achieving positive outcomes for people’, the matching process, which ensures that people get to know each other before deciding to share their lives and strong leadership and relationships with other services. 

Shared Lives carers are coming under increasing pressure in some areas from budget cuts. It is vital that local areas value and invest in Shared Lives services, so that the model continues to be a growing way for people to live well at the heart of their communities.”

The report highlights a high-performing Shared Lives service, which provides long-term arrangements, short breaks, day support and emergency care for adults with a range of support needs, within Shared Lives carers’ own homes.

A person who uses Shared Lives said:

“Shared Lives are amazing. This is my home and I am made to feel part of the family, they are really nice and friendly.”

One Shared Lives carer said:

“We wanted to see what [the person’s] potential could be. They have gone from doing almost nothing to being outgoing and making decisions for themselves, including where they want to go and who they want to see. It’s been amazing to see the transformation."

Nearly 14,000 people use Shared Lives across the UK. Shared Lives is also used as a stepping stone for someone to get their own place. The outcomes can be startling, with people reporting feeling settled, valued and like they belong for the first time in their lives. They make friends and get involved in clubs, activities and volunteering, often for the first time. Shared Lives is well-placed to help local authorities as they balance tightening budgets. For someone with learning disabilities, Shared Lives costs less than other forms of care; on average £26,000 a year less. 

Notes to Editors

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.

A Shared Lives carer shares their home and family life with an adult who needs care or support to help them live well.

For more information contact :

Phoebe Rowell
Communications Manager
07392 313500
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Islington Shared Lives scheme are currently looking to recruit a new Shared Lives Manager.

For further details visit here.



Tuesday, 25 April 2017 16:47

The State of Shared Lives in Scotland

Shared Lives Plus have today published the latest State of Shared Lives in Scotland report. The report highlights some key statistics regarding Shared Lives across Scotland. The total number of Shared Lives arrangements in Scotland was 313 during the year to 31 March 2016. Shared Lives carer numbers showed a net increase of 24% on the previous year.

You can read the full report here

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.

Thursday, 27 October 2016 14:17

The Shared Lives Plus Board of Trustees

Shared Lives Plus is governed by a Board of Trustees. The Chair of Shared Lives Plus is Richard Jones

Richard Jones - Chair

Richard is a passionate supporter of Shared Lives Plus having seen the difference it makes to people lives. Richard has  been a Director of Social Services , worked for government and been a senior executive in the NHS.

Richard continues to be involved  in social care and health through a range of consultancy work and as a board member of Scope, Anchor Trust and Action on Hearing Loss.

Richard is a keen walker and enjoys music  and bird watching. He is currently learning to play the trumpet!


Andy Harvey – England Committee Representative

Ian Coleman - Treasurer

I read Economics at university and am an Accountant by profession. For 15 years I was the Finance Director of one of the largest metropolitan councils. I now have my own business advising on financial management and pension fund management. I am a season ticket holder at Manchester United, one of the rare breed who actually hails from Manchester. I have been an active member of the National Trust for many years. I have been a supporter of Shared Lives Plus and its predecessors for over 10 years. 

Martin Ewing – elected  (Scheme Worker)

Anne Marie McMenamin – Northern Ireland Representative

Martin Thomas – Wales Representative

Martin was elected to represent Wales on the Board of Trustees by the Shared Lives Plus Cymru Committee in 2014. Martin has worked with Shared Lives schemes since 2004 and is currently Business Manager for the South East Wales Shared Lives Scheme. He is particularly interested in scheme development and raising awareness of the Shared Lives model.

Claire Morphet – elected (Scheme Worker)

According to Claire Morphet, you can tell a lot about people by their shoes. If that’s true then she is sharp, elegant and of the moment. Unless of course she is wearing her ‘flatties’, when she wants to be practical and no nonsense, keeping her feet firmly on the ground.

Claire is the Family Based Support Manager at Heywood based social enterprise. PossAbilities CIC. After a number of roles working with people with learning disabilities, Claire took a career break to raise her two girls Mia and India.

 On her return to work, she became a Shared Lives Placement Officer working directly with families, carers and people moving into Shared Lives schemes. She flourished in this role and now manages PossAbilities Shared Lives scheme and the Big Lottery funded Homeshare scheme.

 She says “I became a Shared Lives Trustee because I truly believe in this unique model of support and want to help shape the future. I’m a normal Northern girl who doesn’t speak in jargon. There are those who ‘talk the talk’ and those who ‘walk the walk’. Where vulnerable people are concerned I’ll always want to be more of a do-er than a talker”.

 Whether in Jimmy Choo’s or jogging shoes Claire will always stand up and be counted to help vulnerable people live they life they choose.

Phil Mayne – elected (Shared Lives carer)

Jane Hutchinson - elected (Shared Lives carer)

Mary Clewley – Scotland Representative


There are currently vacancies for two co-opted members. See vacancies section of the website for more details

Board Meetings

You can see the most recently available minutes of the Shared Lives Plus Board of Trustees here


Previous Minutes are available here


 PUBLIC_Minutes_Shared_Lives_Plus_board_meeting_June_2015.doc PUBLIC_Minutes_Shared_Lives_Plus_board_meeting_march_2015.docx

 PUBLIC_Minutes_Shared_Lives_Plus_board_meeting_March_2016.doc PUBLIC_Minutes_Shared_Lives_Plus_board_meeting_Sept_2015.doc




pdfMinutes from the 2015 AGM


pdfNotice of AGM 2016



My First Shared Lives Event

My first Shared Lives event last week took me to Chelmsford in Essex for the first time in my life. The day began with each person introducing themselves briefly. Sporting a name badge with the job title “Marketing Manager”, I thought it was best to come clean to everybody before we started that I hadn’t actually been promoted and that I was only in my second week.

Once introductions were over, Lyn explained how Shared Lives Plus membership works. It was interesting to gain an overview of how the membership can benefit Shared Lives carers and gave me an insight into how best to explain this to carers in future.

Next, Dianne Perry (Guideposts Director of Services) discussed some marketing approaches Guideposts have used. It was great to share ideas on how we could look at marketing Shared Lives effectively and what methods have been used in the past. Having the opportunity to see a final design of a poster from Guideposts which will be sent to print in the near future was also helpful. It made me think about different possible layouts, which I can take into my work with Shared Lives Plus over the coming months.

Dianne was followed by Sarah Butler (Guideposts People Involvement Co-ordinator). Sarah talked about the importance of consistently showcasing even the smallest of positive developments around Shared Lives, to help raise greater awareness at a local level. The Shared Lives Channel 4 national news coverage from May (Cathy Newman interview with Jacqui and Jason) was also praised for the publicity it has gained for Shared Lives on a national level.

The event came to an end with lunch and a chance to network. It was beneficial to hear what others thought of some of our current marketing materials such as Sharing magazine and how we might be able to develop these in future.

 So, all in all my first event with Shared Lives Plus was one I really enjoyed. I learnt a lot about Shared Lives, saw a different city and met some great people. I look forward to attending similar events in the future and continuing to raise awareness of Shared Lives Plus.

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