Shared Lives carers are ordinary people from all different walks of life, but like you, they all care about other people – and they’re changing people’s lives in Wales every day.
Shared Lives is a form of care invented by social care charity PSS, where people who need a little extra help with everyday stuff – like going to the shops, cooking dinner or ironing – go and live with a specially recruited Shared Lives carer, or stay with them for the day, in their family home. There, it’s their job to help the people they support feel more independent, boost their confidence and help them live their lives to the full, giving them as much or as little support as they want or need.
Who uses Shared Lives?
Shared Lives provides support for people in North Wales aged 18 or over who can’t, when they start using the service, fully support themselves on their own. It could be someone suffering from a mental health problem, like depression. It could be someone who is 18 and just leaving the children’s care system. It could be someone with a learning or physical disability. It could be a new mum who needs a bit of extra support in the early days. The point is, Shared Lives can work for anyone in need of a bit of support.
When you become a PSS Shared Lives carer, the person you’re supporting will come to live with you in your home, and become a bit like an extended part of your family or a close friend. To make sure you’re going to get on, we provide a matching service. We’ll tell you and the person you will be caring for all about each other and we will make sure your lifestyles match up. The great thing about that is that you will likely be supporting someone who enjoys the same things as you.
What do you need to become a Shared Lives carer?
To become a PSS Shared Lives carer, you don’t need any previous experience in a caring role; we can train you up to a really high standard, and we’ll help you every step of the way (you’ll get your own dedicated support team, who will keep in touch and make sure things are going well). It’s about the person you are, as well as the support you can provide. To kick things off, all you need is a big heart, open mind, determination, a genuine nature, oodles of professionalism – oh, and a spare room.
Becky Bloor-Steen, head of PSS’s Shared Lives service for Wales, said: “We’re really excited to launch Shared Lives in Wrexham. We hear so many fantastic stories from Shared Lives on a daily basis and it’s not hard to see why it just keeps on growing. In fact, it’s now one of the biggest forms of social care in the UK – and PSS founded it back in 1978. What we need now is for the wonderful people of Wrexham to sign up to be Shared Lives carers and help change some lives for the better. It really is a fantastic job to have – you get the independence of working for yourself, from home, and you get to do something truly worthwhile. Here at PSS we support carers absolutely every step of the way – we train them up to be the best they can be and the dedicated team here in Wales keep in regular contact to see how things are going. You become part of the PSS family – we’ll support you all the way.”
What are the perks?
No two days of work will ever be the same – this is more than your average 9-5. But, not only that, you will also be changing someone’s life for the better!
Here are some other reasons why being a Shared Lives carer is so great:
- Work from home – or the park, or the cafe or the swimming pool or the bingo hall….
- Flexible working hours
- Earn a living by doing something wonderful for someone else
- Learn new things about yourself
- Train up in new skills
- Extend your family
- Stop someone from being lonely
A bit about PSS
PSS is a social enterprise with a mission to help people make the most of their lives. Founded in 1919 by the wonderful Eleanor Rathbone, they provide loads of different services to help people out – from mental health services through to social services. From their Liverpool home, they founded Shared Lives back in the 1970s, and they’ve been doing it ever since. PSS’s job is to recruit, train and support amazing, yet ordinary people like you who have caring in their bones. PSS has a brilliant team based in Conwy who look after Shared Lives across North Wales, including here in Wrexham.
So, there you have it. Do something truly amazing with your life and apply to become a Shared Lives carer!