Leeds ,

Celebrating 40 years of Leeds Shared Lives scheme

The invaluable work of carers in the city will be celebrated this week at a special Leeds Civic Hall ceremony.

Held as part of an event to mark the 40th anniversary of the innovative Leeds Shared Lives scheme, respite carers will be recognised on Tuesday, 19 March, for the vital and often unsung role that they undertake in supporting those that are ill, frail, or have disabilities. Currently, there are many individuals and families in Leeds who are coping daily with the care needs of a loved one. This can be both emotionally and physically draining for those involved, and carers in the Shared Lives Scheme are able to provide a range of help and important short breaks to those people undertaking the daily care role.

Councillor Rebecca Charlwood, executive board member with responsibility for Health, Wellbeing and Adults said:

“The Leeds Shared Lives scheme was one of the first of its kind in the country and has developed over the last 40 years to meet the changing needs of communities in Leeds.

“We have many wonderful carers who make a huge difference to the lives of people needing care and their families. I would like to thank them for everything they do. It truly is a very rewarding role, so I invite anyone who is interested in becoming a shared lives carer to get in touch to find out more.”

The Shared Lives service provides short breaks respite for adults in the home of a shared lives carer, or support and companionship during the day via a Day Support service.

The service recruits people who are committed to providing help and support to people in the community. They are people from all walks of life who share the desire to make a difference. All prospective SL carer receive training and are approved via a safer recruitment process.

Carers can be single people, couples or families and be from a variety of different backgrounds and experiences. If you have the time in your life to become a shared lives carer, it’s worth finding out more.

People use the Shared Lives service for a variety of reasons. It may be for a change of scene and to meet a new person; to refresh existing skills or to develop new ones; for their carer to have a break; for a chosen day of activities that meet their needs; or to access and be part of the community.

Some may have a need for support with their personal care, meals and medication. You will be able to discuss the level of support you want to offer as part of the matching process.

If you are interested in becoming a carer or would like more information, please contact Leeds Shared Lives on 0113 378 5410 or email sharedlives@leeds.gov.uk. No experience is needed as training is provided.