A Leicestershire woman is using her own positive experiences to appeal to more people to become Shared Lives carers.
For more than 10 years, Hayley, from Birstall, has played a big part in helping to care for Maxine and wants to encourage more county residents to make ‘a space in their lives’ for adults who need that extra support.
The county council’s Shared Lives carer scheme supports adults with learning disabilities, mental health problems or other needs that make it harder for them to live on their own.
Maxine lives with Hayley and her family and Hayley said: “I became involved with the Shared Lives service when I was a second carer for my mum and decided to make it my full-time work – I’ve loved it.
“Maxine has been with me for nearly 13 years now and she has really fitted well into the family and has given my children a different outlook, they’ve grown up with Maxine being part of their life.
“We have a great relationship and love doing things together, especially shopping. Maxine has come a long way in that i and is quite independent and has her own unique ways."
There are many different types of shared lives carer, some carers live with the person they care for full time, some offer short breaks for days or weeks or are daytime support for someone on a one-to-one basis or groups.
Maxine said: “I like living here with Hayley. I like to help out and love going shopping with Hayley and buying new clothes. We also socialise together and I enjoy working at charity shops and meeting all the customers.”
Shared Lives carers are self-employed so have the flexibility to carry on working in an existing job, they are able to work from home or stay at home to raise their children.
Our Shared Lives’ carers our so valuable. Spending time with people in their communities can help our adults in social care learn valuable skills and make friends for life.
Becoming a Shared Lives carer is a great way to give back to your community, do something with a real sense of purpose and accomplishment, while earning money and fitting your work around your own schedule.Person:Christine Radford, Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for adults and communities
To find out more about becoming a shared lives carer contact the county council team on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0116 305 8133