More people are needed to become Shared Lives hosts and change the lives of adults in Kent.
Kent County Council has 155 hosts who support people with learning or physical disabilities, dementia, mental health conditions, those on the autistic spectrum, and older people in their own homes, either long or short-term or offering day placements.
However, each month the team identify 15 more adults who would benefit from living with a host family and, this Shared Lives Week, we are urging more people to take up this rewarding role.
Graham Gibbens, KCC Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “Shared Lives opens up so many opportunities for people to live independently, learn new skills, do the things they enjoy and to live in a loving family environment. We know that living independently in the community supports mental and physical wellbeing and we see people thrive through Shared Lives.
“Our Shared Lives hosts do a wonderful job and really do change the lives of the adults they support. We have more people coming through all the time who could benefit from Shared Lives so we need more people to become hosts and do a role which makes a real difference.”
Shared Lives are holding two information events for anyone interested in finding out more about becoming a host:
- 7pm on 19 October, at Hawkinge Community Centre, Heron Forstal Road, Hawkinge.
- 10am to 2pm on 21 October, Kroner House, Eurogate Business Park, Ashford.
Being a Shared Lives Host:
- provides a flexible, interesting job with a fantastic work-life balance
- offers great opportunities for skills development
- lets you be self-employed, with support from the team
- good financial rewards
To get involved in this fantastic scheme, visit www.kent.gov.uk/sharedlives or give us a call on 03000 412400 find out more.
Tracey Hopkins from Ashford, is a host for three young men, including Kyle 30, and she said the rewards of the role were ‘priceless’.
She said: “Kyle didn’t speak a lot when he came to us and now he doesn’t stop talking. His confidence has grown, he goes to English and Maths classes and he’s starting to excel and it’s really nice to see him flourish and grow to be the person he wants to be. He loves cooking and he goes to do catering at the Rare Breeds Centre and comes home and uses his skills to do dinner together.
“I absolutely love it, I love seeing these lads come to me and grow – it can be challenging but the rewards you get outweigh the challenges most of the time. The 24/7 support they get through Shared Lives is so important and it gives them the support network they need, and the independence they need, knowing they have our support on tap. The difference with Shared Lives is also that it’s in a family environment where they are not on their own or isolated.
“One of my lads has gone on to full time employment and that wouldn’t have happened unless he had the support from us 24/7. To see him now starting to achieve the things he’s always wanted because of the support from us is pure gold. It is just priceless.”