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Celebrating Shared Lives

If you are or you know of a kind-hearted resident who could help an adult in need of care support by welcoming them into their home and inviting them to be part of their family, then now is the perfect time to find out about Shared Lives.



As Waltham Forest celebrates national Shared Lives week (15-23 October), the Council is shining a spotlight on the service to illustrate how it brings together individuals, families and communities, as well as health, social care and other valued services.



The borough’s Shared Lives service enables people with learning and/or physical disabilities or dementia 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 care needs, allowing them to develop their skills, friendships and interests, and start to gain greater independence.



During Shared Lives week, carers and individuals who use Shared Lives services are helping to get the word out about this unique form of care and support.



Through the borough’s service, Tracey Moore, a Shared Lives carer in Waltham Forest, provides a loving family environment to Lisa*, who has multiple disabilities.



Tracey said: “I want to continue to be a Shared Lives carer because Lisa is a big part of our family life. We want her to continue being a part of our lives – we are the only family she knows. I enjoy working for the Shared Lives scheme; I always feel supported getting help or advice when I need it, and being involved in Lisa’s reviews and participating in making important decisions.”



Cllr Angie Bean, Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: “I’ve seen first-hand what a positive impact Shared Lives can have on someone who needs a bit of extra support in life.



“The service really can change a person’s life, helping them to become more confident, happy and independent. And for the carer, who of course can expect to receive professional guidance as part of their support package, it can be a wonderfully rewarding experience.”



Alex Fox, Chief Executive of Shared Lives Plus, the UK Network for Shared Lives and Homeshare, said: “We are delighted that Waltham Forest is playing its part in this national celebration of Shared Lives. It’s great to have so many people in the borough supporting us to take a major step forward in our aim to mainstream Shared Lives as an option across health and social care so that many more people in Waltham Forest can benefit.”



Shared Lives 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.



Join the conversation on Twitter using #SharedLivesTogether. You can follow the Council @wfcouncil.



Notes to editors



*Name has been changed for confidentiality. 



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.

  • Around 13,000 people use Shared Lives across the UK. The model has grown by over 25 per cent nationally in the last two years – and it is hoped that Shared Lives week 2016 will help to continue this expansion.

  • Shared Lives Plus is supporting schemes in Waltham Forest and across the country to raise awareness about Shared Lives, and the organisation will also be announcing further details about its flagship partnership with NHS England to scale up Shared Lives in Healthcare. 

  • Shared Lives Plus hopes that this will enable health trusts to offer community-based alternatives to traditional health services much more widely in the future.


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 3000.