Could your family share their lives to help others?

Could you open up your home to provide companionship to someone with a disability?

Friday, 12th August 2016, 1:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:08 pm

Kirklees Council is looking for people to become Shared Lives carers, providing support and new experiences for somebody who needs friendship.

The scheme gives adults with a disability the chance to stay in their carer’s home and become part of a family. Placements can range from a weekend to a fortnight.

It gives people with additional needs the opportunity to gain more independence. Experienced staff ensure that suitable matches are made between carers and those needing care, so that the experience is a positive one for everyone involved.

Helen and Mark Simpson from Skelmanthorpe decided to share their home and become full-time Shared Lives carers nearly two years ago, when they were matched with 36-year-old Lisa. Helen and Mark have five young children and the decision to become a carer was very much a family one.

“Being brutally honest we were very concerned about the dynamics of all the little relationships in our home when Lisa moved in. Although we’d all collectively made the decision ‘as a family’, we were desperate for it all to go smoothly for everyone. It did, and still does. The Kirklees Shared Lives team are obviously extremely skilled to have matched Lisa to our family. It works really well,” said Mark.

“We’re busy parents, juggling work, home, children, and all that comes with it, as do many other people. But choosing to be a Shared Lives carer meant that I could stay at home with the children and support Lisa. We’re really pleased that our children have this experience to help and support people like Lisa. We think it’s helping to make our children into brilliant caring adults and they’re developing important skills,” added Helen.

No experience of care work is necessary, and participants are paid an allowance and given full training.

The Shared Lives team have organised a drop-in event at Dewsbury Market on September 1 from 9.30am for anyone who wants to find out more about the scheme.