Shared Lives is a service for those that need support in living life to the full, right here in the town they know and love. We're proud to deliver this service in Oldham.

We’re lucky to have a network of Shared Lives Carers who offer a wide range of care and support to vulnerable adults, young people in transition from children’s services / foster care, older people and people who have learning disabilities, physical disabilities and mental health issues.

Shared Lives Carers give different levels of support, depending on the needs of the people they’re matched with. Some Carers just give a few hours a week and might help someone who’s already fairly independent to attend a weekly activity, appointment or event.

As #SharedLivesWeek2022 draws to a close, we wanted to introduce you to a fantastic family with whom we had a Zoom call recently as they told us a bit about their life…

Carers Anne (first from left) and John (first from right) have supported Peter (second from left) since he was a young teenager. That support originally took the form of a foster care arrangement. He recently turned 18 and when he did, Shared Lives was introduced as a way that the family could stay together and stay supporting each other. We’ll let Anne say a little more…

“I didn’t know a great deal about Shared Lives before being introduced to it, but we were very keen to remain carers for Peter – he is more independent than ever, but he still has eligible needs and really benefits from being part of the family setup. We tried some respite care for people once we had been through the approval process with Shared Lives Oldham and loved it. So much so that we jumped at the chance to be full time Shared Lives Carers, not only for Peter but now for Jason too.”

So, a Shared Lives family of three became a family of four. Fantastic news!

The newest member of the household Jason was part of a different foster care arrangement himself but since turning 18 too and being matched with this family, has settled in brilliantly with his new housemates.

John talks about Jason and his successful move…

“We knew the Shared Lives Oldham staff team and they knew us, but we still went through a thorough process to make sure that Jason, me, Anne and Peter were well-matched. It was a move that happened during the pandemic so we had loads of Zoom meetings and calls before restrictions were lifted and we were able to have proper face-to-face introductions. They went really well, and here we are! The lads are doing great and we are really happy being part of the Shared Lives community. If there is ever a need to be in touch, contact is easy and help is always there.”

 A little more from the lads…

Peter: “I am a big darts fan. I love football too and my team is Bolton Wanderers, where I am originally from. My favourite player of all time is Jay-Jay Okocha.

I've recently started an Warehouse Operative Apprenticeship at FSW Engineering - it's going really well!"

Jason: “My biggest hobby is probably gaming. I have an X-Box and like to play ‘Call of Duty’. Soon I will be an undergraduate student too – I have got an offer from the University of Salford to study Physics.”

Unique interests but both Peter and Jason, Anne and John go on to talk about some shared hobbies too including hiking in the Lakes (where they are frequent visitors), trips in the caravan and also meals out.

Anne mentions that meals in are just as important for this family and says the following with a smile…

“Nine times out of ten we all still eat tea together in the early evening and talk about how the day has been. We all like our food and the dining table is definitely the focus of this house!”

Before we conclude the call both John and Anne talk about the benefits and support that being part of the wider community brings too. Anne mentions the ‘My View’ day held by the Shared Lives team which gives families the chance to share feedback and ask any questions or receive necessary support. She also mentions the days out and events – most recently there was a party to mark the Platinum Jubilee and said…

“The service must be doing it right because these things are always so well attended!"

We hope everyone out there has had a brilliant #SharedLivesWeek2022 and thanks to Peter, Jason, Anne and John for your time. It's so great to hear things are going so well...so much so that we are now *almost* wanting Bolton Wanderers to win football matches!

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If you're new to the Shared Lives Oldham scheme and want to know what it's all about, please visit our page on the Oldham Council website:

https://www.oldham.gov.uk/sharedlives 

To register your interest or to find out more, contact the team...