5 April 2018

Shared Lives – ‘a match made in heaven’

A young woman who has a learning disability has described living with carers through Brighton & Hove City Council’s Shared Lives scheme as a ‘match made in heaven’.

Shared Lives is a way to support adults who are unable to live independently. The scheme places adults with carers who offer accommodation, care and support in their own home. It is similar to fostering.

Tyler moved in with her carers Dena and Linda last November. A week before that her friend Harley also moved in with Dena and Linda after enjoying a series of weekend respite care breaks with them.

Through the Shared Lives scheme Dena and Linda offer Harley and Tyler the day to day support they need while enabling them to live with a great deal of independence.

The council’s Shared Lives team pays carers to provide support in this way, and provides training and support.

The team works hard to make sure everyone is well matched and gets on well. Tyler met Harley for the first time at a Shared Lives Halloween party.

Tyler said “I was planning to move in to a place of my own but I realised I might not get the support I needed. I decided Shared Lives would suit me better, and I like all the help Dena and Linda give me. It’s a match made in heaven.”

Harley said: “I lived on my own before and used to get very lonely. I’m still independent now but I feel much safer and really positive. Dena and Linda are lovely people.”

Dena said: “Becoming Shared Lives carers is the best decision we’ve made in a long time.

“It’s important to remember that Harley and Tyler are young adults, not children, and that they can make their own decisions. Our role is to support them and empower them.”

Linda said: “Tyler and Harley get on well. They’re both out at college during the day, and they help each other out around the house and go to the cinema together.

“They are lovely young women and so easy to live with. They want to be with us, and really we’re just one happy family.

“Shared Lives is fantastic – I’d recommend it to anyone.”

For further information about the Shared Lives scheme, please:

  • Phone 01273 295550
  • email info.sharedlives@brighton-hove.gov.uk
  • visit www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/sharedlives