This week sees the start of Shared Lives Week and Lancashire County Council is urging more people to get in touch to find out about becoming a Shared Lives carer.
The national campaign for the service, which is similar to fostering for vulnerable adults, runs from Friday 15 June to Sunday 24 June.
The county council’s Shared Lives service, rated as ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), provides care and support for adults with disabilities, mental health needs and older people.
The service matches people with carers and families who can provide support in their home.
Lancashire’s Shared Lives service is already the biggest in the country and the county council is looking to expand it even further.
County Councillor Charlie Edwards, lead member for health and adult services, said: “We’re looking for more people to be carers and Shared Lives week is a great opportunity for people to find out more about the scheme at one of our drop in events.
“It’s a chance to talk to our carers and staff about what the role involves and the people who use the service to find out how it works.
“Shared Lives works in a very similar way to fostering, but for adults. People who use the service come to live with their carers as part of their family rather than in a residential facility or with a team of support workers.
“They live right in the heart of the community. Carers support people with everything from day-to-day tasks such as preparing meals, to hobbies and interests, studying and finding employment. They also go on holiday together.
“As a carer, you get a generous monthly allowance which can range from £300 to £450 a week, based on the needs of the person you’re caring for.”
The focus of this year’s Shared Lives Week is to find carers to support people for longer periods of time. This could be anything from a few weeks to several years.
There are currently nearly 300 carers in Lancashire supporting over 350 people.
There will be free drop in events across the county where people will have the opportunity to speak to the Shared Lives team and Shared Lives carers.
Details of the events are as follows:
• 18 June, 10am – 12.30pm, Fleetwood Library
• 19 June, 10am – 12.30pm, Morecambe Library
• 20 June, 10am – 12.30pm, Accrington Library
• 20 June, 12pm – 2.30pm, County Hall, Preston
Councillor Edwards added: “Shared Lives makes a huge difference to people who become carers and the people who use the service.
“You really need to speak to people who are carers, the people they support and our staff to get a sense of what they do and how you could help transform someone’s life.
“Come down to our events or contact the Shared Lives team to find out more.”
For further details about Shared Lives week, the service and to read case studies showing what it’s like to be a carer, visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/SharedLives
You can make enquiries via the website, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01772 531326.