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Our stories

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We're regularly told how special it is being a part of the Shared Lives community. Hear directly from those involved about the difference it makes to them. 

Carol and Simon's story*

"The young man we care for is someone we have fostered since they were seven years old. When the opportunity to care for him as Shared Lives carers came along, we decided that's what we wanted to do. 

"Anything you would normally do with your family is what you can expect to do with the person you care for. It's most importantly about helping them live a thriving and independent life. No two days are the same as Shared Lives carers, which is one of the most exciting things about becoming one. 

"The support from Gateshead Council is invaluable. The team are always there to listen. Having someone to call is so important as a Shared Lives carer, as it can be challenging at times - but nothing is as worthwhile or more rewarding." 

*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the person they provide care for. 

Lesley's story

"Shared Lives was not known to us previously, however, my long-term foster child was turning 21 and still needed support. We were offered help from Shared Lives to continue as his carers.  

"It has now been three years and he is thriving, as always. Shared Lives allow us to care for him as we did, they value our experience and understanding of his needs. He is encouraged to be as independent as possible without compromising his safety. He lives a healthy, normal life and is part of a loving family.  

"The Shared Lives team send regular, easy-read information to support him and us. We feel supported and enjoy working for the service." 

Ken's story

"My wife and I were foster carers before becoming Shared Lives carers. As my family and the person we cared for got on so well together, the decision to look after him under Shared Lives when he turned 18 was, really, a no brainer.  

"He has now been with us for nearly 13 years. Shared Lives gives him the opportunity to enjoy family life in a relaxed environment, without the formality of a more regulated care home regime.  

"With a well-matched person, Shared Lives caring can be a highly rewarding and enjoyable experience. Home working can also be very flexible, allowing carers to fit care provision around another job, or indeed, instead of one, as I did. 

"Oh yes, nearly forgot - the staff at Shared Lives in Gateshead are absolutely wonderful. They are really supportive, friendly and helpful. Nothing seems to bother them."

Register your interest

Get in touch and register your interest in becoming a Shared Lives carer.

Register your interest