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Thriving through Shared Lives

Waltham Forest residents are being asked whether they could help improve the life of an adult with learning disabilities by welcoming them into their home and inviting them to be part of their family.



The call for would-be carers to step forwards and help change someone’s life for the better comes from the Council’s Shared Lives service, which enables people with learning disabilities who need respite, short or long term accommodation, to live in a loving household – meeting family, friends and neighbours, and joining in normal daily activities.



A resident can be a Shared Lives carer alongside having a day job, and they could receive a fee of up to £430 a week to look after someone.



The service provides stability and support to adults with support needs, allowing them to develop their skills, friendships and interests, and start to gain greater independence. It will soon be expanded to offer care to people with physical disabilities, dementia and those who need help with personal care.



Thirty-three-year-old Jennifer Chowdhury was living in a hostel before her social worker introduced her to Shared Lives, and she has not looked back. She’s been living with a Waltham Forest family since 2013 – crediting them as having helped build her confidence, and generally improve her health and wellbeing and quality of life.



Jennifer said: “They are very loving, kind and caring. I feel they are here for me whenever I need advice, help and support.



“I like living with a family because I like the company and there is always someone to talk to. I am happier in myself having that feeling of belonging to a family and feeling at home.



“With support I have been able to make savings and I have been on holiday with my parent, carers and on an independent holiday. I have plans to go on holiday this year. I am given the opportunity to make my own choices regarding my life decisions.



“Shared Lives is good and I recommend it to anyone who is looking for accommodation and support to live with a family. A family welcomed me into their home and I am now part of the family – plus the ongoing support is always there from the carers and the scheme.”



Waltham Forest Council is calling on kind-hearted residents who think they could help someone like Jennifer to get in touch with the Shared Lives team.



Shared Lives carers who can offer long-term accommodation or short-term care and support to someone will receive a professional fee along with other rewards for their efforts.



Carers are carefully matched with a service user, and asked to help them with daily tasks and challenges, such as personal care, emotional support, financial management, medical needs and cooking and cleaning.



Anyone can apply to be a Shared Lives carer. So if you are patient, committed and interested in working at home to help people have more independence, choice and control over their lives, the Council would like to hear from you.



Contact the Shared Lives Officer by phoning 020 8496 3000 or emailing shared.lives@walthamforest.gov.uk.




Notes to editors

As a Shared Lives carer you will:


  • Work in a challenging yet highly rewarding environment.

  • Have a regular income of up to £430 a week while someone is staying with you.

  • Not be taxed for most of this income.

  • Receive holiday entitlement.

  • Get continuous support and guidance.

  • Have regular training, newsletters and support meetings with other Shared Lives carers.


If you would like more information about any of these press releases or have a different media enquiry please contact us at media@walthamforest.gov.uk or on 020 8496 4521 / 4802.

For out of hours please email media@walthamforest.gov.uk or call 07966 915 157.