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It's Better To Share

  Monday 22nd November 2010

‘Shared Lives Bedfordshire - You Making a Difference”


Shared Lives Bedfordshire supports adults with disabilities to access everyday life opportunities. To achieve this we need people like you!


Being a Shared Lives Carer means offering some of your time to enable a person with a disability to experience different life opportunities. As a Shared Lives Carer you can really “make a difference” to a person’s life. It doesn’t matter how much time you have to spare, you can offer flexible opportunities which could include accessing the community for an evening’s entertainment, offering overnight stays from your own home or even having someone live with you as part of your family life. Whatever time or interests you have Shared Lives Bedfordshire can match you to someone who would like to have the opportunity to try new things


Working as a Shared Lives carer brings its own rewards, what could be better than knowing that you are making a difference to a person’s life? You don’t have to have experience as we offer full training and ongoing support as well as payment for your time.



David’s Story.


David has lived with his Shared Lives carers for nine years. He receives support from Joy, Keith and Mark. David has thrived, preferring to maintain as much independence as possible, whether this is through his part-time voluntary work at Bedford Central Library or his regular bus trips further afield to buy PlayStation Games!

David’s goals were achieving independence and this is important part of the support that he has received from his Shared Lives Carers. David still enjoys being part of the family and gets out and about with his carers wherever possible whether it be enjoying going to local concerts or socialising with the family’s friends.


David said: “I love working at the library and would work more hours if I could. I have been there for six and a half years and I do things such as making up welcome packs, stamping books and putting them back on shelves. My Shared Lives carers have helped me become more independent and this has really helped with my work placement and my confidence.”



Donnas' Story.


Donna is 20-years-old and lives with her Shared Lives carers who were formerly her foster parents. Donnas' Shared Lives carers have supported her in every aspect of her life. This has really helped Donna become more independent as she now lives in her own flat attached to the family home. Donna is always learning new independence skills through the support of her Shared Lives carers and she enjoys being involved in family activities. Donna is well known in her local pub which she visits with her carers. The Shared Lives Service is currently looking to find additional support for Donna to access an amateur dramatics society as Donna would like to get involved in acting.


Donna said: “I still go back into the family home for meals and to play with my foster siblings but at times I like to have my own space and privacy and my Shared Lives carers have really helped me with this.”  


Gaining Confidence.


Both David and Donna feel that without the help of their Shared Lives carers they would not have had enough confidence to be independent, travel and meet new people.


As a result of Shared Lives, David and Donna have tried new things – David has been on a plane and cruise ship for the first time and Donna has gone from being apprehensive about the chickens at her day centre, to raising nine healthy chicks which even involved holding them!


Donna and David’s Shared Lives experience has also given them the opportunity to develop skills in new areas and they are now both involved in the training and interviews for new carers, both listing ‘good listening skills’ as the most important thing they look for from potential carers during the process.


Be Part of Something Rewarding.


David and Donna have found the support they receive invaluable and it’s their carers who have achieved alongside the ongoing support and training from the service.


Shared Lives Bedfordshire is always looking for new carers – We always need more to keep up with demand and help make a change to people’s lives. We welcome people from all walks of. Whatever experience, skills or time you have we can always use it - there is so much to Shared Lives the possibilities are endless!


Do you think you could change lives forever? Why not contact us to find out?


Telephone: 01234 228426


Email: Apsb@bedford.gov.uk


Website: http://www.bedford.gov.uk/health_and_social_care/adult_learning


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