An inpirational army of Shared Lives carers from Derby are celebrating their role, alongside that of many other Shared Lives Carers across the country, in helping thousands of people who need extra support to live ordinary lives across the UK this week.

As part of Shared Lives Plus week, Shared Lives Derby have taken part in the Great Shared Lives Picnic at Darley Park and have today (Thursday 21st June) hosted a networking event at the Quad, to celebrate the fabulous support being given in the city by Shared Lives carers.

The networking event was a great opportunity for real carers and customer to celebrate the work they do with the service. Shared Lives showcased their new documentary/film that highlighted some of the real lives in Derby which are enhanced by this scheme.

Over 140 people, who need help to live well, either visit or live with 70 approved Shared Lives carers in Derby. They share family and community life together, enabling people who need support to stay in the area, make new friends and recover from hospital or live an ordinary life, instead of being in a care home.

The need for flexible and personal support is set to increase as more than 15 million people in the UK have at least one long-term condition. Three million people have three or more health conditions that need social care support. In addition, the number of older people aged 85 or over in England is set to double over the next two decades. Shared Lives offers a sustainable alternative to care homes which can struggle to support individuals leaving hospital, with dementia, younger people with health needs or people with mental ill health.

Councillor Roy Webb, Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Housing said:

“Our Shared Lives carers are a wonderful group of people whose compassion, dedication and selfless work has helped local people become independent and more connected with their friends, family, and become active again”.  On behalf of Derby City Council, I want to take the opportunity to thank our carers, and recognise the great work they are doing.

Sarah Storer, scheme manager, says:

“Shared Lives carers are invaluable: they enable people to choose who and where they live, with practical and emotional support in an ordinary, stable home where they can share their lifestyles and interests with each other.”

Alex Fox, CEO, Shared Lives Plus continued:

“We want to use this week to thank every Shared Lives carer, and the local schemes that carefully match people together. You make an invaluable difference for people using our health and social care services. Shared Lives carers create outcomes in mental and physical health that are proportionally greater than the resources they require.”

Shared Lives Plus, the UK-wide membership charity for Shared Lives carers, schemes and Homeshare schemes is working with Derby Shared Lives in highlighting the value of Shared Lives carers and calling for investment in Shared Lives carers and become part of social care pay reviews.

To find out more about being a Shared Lives carer, visit the Derby City Council, Shared Lives website.