More than 80 people are Shared Lives carers with Telford & Wrekin Council and we are on the look-out for new carers who want to join them in helping vulnerable people live their lives to the full.
Mitch Morgan has been a Shared Lives carer for eight years and shares his home with his son and three men with learning difficulties. He said: “Anybody can become a Shared Lives carer if they want to make a difference by supporting others, have a spare room in their house and they want to have a very different lifestyle which is very rewarding. Give it a go.”
“It’s an all-male household, I’m a single man. To be a Shared Lives carer you don’t have to be married, you don’t have to be in a relationship. If you’re single, that’s fine. And, if you’re working, that’s also fine in many cases, depending on the placement and the person's level of needs.”
John is one of the men cared for by Mitch. John said: “When I’m at home, I’m on my bike riding. I feel more comfortable here than I do living on my own because I’ve got someone to talk to. If we want to do something different in our lives, we just ask Mitch and he just supports us.”
Jeannie Spencer, another Shared Lives carer, gave up her job as a prison officer and now looks after two young men, one of whom was previously so lacking in confidence, he wouldn’t leave his room in the flat where he lived alone. Jeannie said: “I would highly recommend being a Shared Lives carer. There’s a lot of support and there is so much that you can take from this. It’s not a job, it’s a way of life. It just fills the house with happiness. When you see these guys achieve something they thought they would never do then that for me is the best thing ever.”
Councillor Arnold England, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care & Older People said: “There is so much gained from being involved in Shared Lives; the rewards are so great, enriching the lives of both the carers and those looked after by them. We are looking to grow our number of carers. Shared Lives carers come from all walks of life. Applicants are assessed and receive full training and ongoing support from Telford & Wrekin Council’s dedicated and friendly team who will be on hand to help you through the whole process Then, based on your home and family lifestyle, carers are appropriately matched with those in need of a welcome home.
“If you are looking for a career change and would like to do something worthwhile whilst enjoying an income, then Shared Lives could be the right move for you.”