Pioneering care scheme recruiting families across North Yorkshire

This story was published 10 June 2022

Families in North Yorkshire are being invited to become part of a service that provides home-based support to adults and young people across the county.

Sarah and Adam Wood

Shared Lives is where an adult or young person in need spends time in a family home and shares family life. People receive safe, personalised support, in a place that feels like home – and is home.

The scheme is completely flexible. In many cases, people just spend a day, or a few days with their host family on a long-term or short-term basis

The host families are known as Shared Lives carers. They are ordinary people from all walks of life. What matters is having the right personal skills and qualities to welcome and support a person into their home, and into their life.

Avalon Group manage the Shared Lives scheme in North Yorkshire on behalf of North Yorkshire County Council. Shared Lives carers receive a monthly income and full training is provided, along with ongoing support.

Sarah Wood joined the service after seeing the difference it made to her son, Adam.

She said: “I’d never heard of Shared Lives, until my son, who has additional needs, was offered support with a local Shared Lives family.

“The support he got was personalised, fulfilling and made him so happy, and the family got to know us, so it was this lovely arrangement for all of us; he was getting all the things he wants and needs out of his daily life, and we had the trust in his carers who became like family friends.

“I decided at that point that I wanted to become a Shared Lives carer too, to support other local families and to make a huge positive impact on the lives of local people who need extra support.

"Avalon Group supported me to become a carer, and have helped me to develop my care skills, while making sure the people I support are matched to me and my family’s lifestyle.”

Cllr Michael Harrison, executive member for health and adult services, said: “We are looking for more dedicated individuals  like Sarah, who can give people the best care option for them. Shared Lives is all about relationships, helping someone to develop or maintain their confidence, make new friends or learn new skills in a family environment.”

Avalon Group CEO Larry Hollando said: “Shared Lives is a shining example of how we can bring communities across North Yorkshire together. Seeing families supporting those who need additional help, and doing so in a way that promotes sharing and inclusion is a great example of how we can move social care forward.”

Avalon Group are recruiting Shared Lives carers across North Yorkshire now. To find out more, or to apply to become a carer, visit the Avalon’s Shared Lives website or call Avalon’s Shared Lives team on 01423 530053.