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Shared Lives is transforming lives in Telford and Wrekin

Shared Lives is transforming lives in Telford and Wrekin

Shared Lives carers in Telford and Wrekin will be at events in the borough next week (17–25 OCT) to highlight Shared Lives week, a UK wide event to celebrate and promote the innovative and growing “Shared Lives” model of care.

Shared Lives carers open their home, family and community life to an adult (anyone over 16 years) who needs care or support to help them live well.

Local schemes individually match trained and approved Shared Lives carers with people who need their support. This approach is now one of the fastest growing forms of social care in the UK.

In Telford and Wrekin, Shared Lives carers allow adults with learning disabilities, mental health support needs and dementia related conditions to continue to live in the community. For many of these people this allows them to lead a more independent life.

The Shared Lives scheme in Telford and Wrekin is run by the My Options team. There are 82 Shared Lives carers in the borough, supporting 120 adults.

Councillor Arnold England, cabinet member for Adult Social Care, said: “We’re really proud of the work that our Shared Lives carers do in Telford and Wrekin and we’re pleased that this is being recognised nationally for the success that it is.

“Shared Lives offers people the chance to remain in the community and to enjoy family life.”

Alex Fox, Chief Executive of Shared Lives Plus, said: “It’s great to see Shared Lives in Telford and Wrekin playing such an active role in supporting our national Shared Lives week, highlighting the benefits of the approach.”

The foundation of the success of Shared Lives is the “Match”. This process – unique to Shared Lives – involves meeting up, perhaps for a cup of tea or a meal and getting to know each other before agreeing to move in to Shared Lives. This way, people can discover if they share common interests or hobbies, meaning they have a basis for a successful partnership.

John, one of the people who lives in a Shared Lives placement in Telford and Wrekin, loves animals. The first time he met Mitch, his Shared Lives carer, he had spotted a frog in a hole in the road and John asked Mitch if he could get it out.

Without question, Mitch jumped into the hole and rescued the frog. John said: “I knew then that I would be happy to live with Mitch.”

He now looks after the fish in the tank they have at the house, as well as a parrot and two chickens.

Next week, Shared Lives carers in Telford and Wrekin will be promoting #AllAboutTheMatch – a celebration of the matching process unique to Shared Lives, where Shared Lives carers and people who choose Shared Lives as a care option will be matched for compatibility, interests and experiences before moving in together.

Shared Lives week 2015 runs from 17–25 October.

If anyone is interested in becoming a Shared Lives carer or finding out more information, Local Shared Lives carers and members of the team that supports them will be at:

Wellington Leisure and Civic Centre on Monday 19 October, between 10am–3pm.

Southwater One on Tuesday 20 October, between 10am–4pm.

For more information, visit the website http://www.myoptionstelford.co.uk/ or call 01952 381317.

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