Kirsty Williams AM has visited a local Shared Lives service, meeting a carer who has supported a vulnerable young adult by welcoming him into her home.
Shared Lives services operate by matching someone who needs help to live independently with a Shared Lives carer. They then move into the carer’s home and are supported by them to manage their challenges and achieve their personal goals.
Kirsty met with Mo (a Shared Lives carer), Ethan (the young adult she supports), and representatives from Shared Lives.
“We work together. I support Ethan to do the things that are important to him. For me there is real love there, Ethan is part of my family. I think that’s how he feels too. But I also have a lifetime’s experience of youth and community work. I can use that to support him, to set boundaries and help him achieve things. That’s really important too.
“I definitely get a lot from being with Ethan. I like to see him grow. It’s almost like watching him unfold. He was very closed in on himself when he came here. He struggled to make meaningful friendships. Now he’s developing friendships and he lives has a very active life. Seeing him achieve things, like learning to drive or going to college, makes me feel I’m doing something worthwhile.”
“Shared Lives support means freedom and independence. I can make up my own mind. People listen to me now. So much has changed since I came here, before I couldn’t see the future clearly, now I can. I’m going to college. I’m learning to be a mechanic. It’s so much better now. Before other people were making decisions for me, now I’m here I’m learning the skills I need and making my own decision. Mo’s there for me when I need it. She helps me think things through.”
Shared Lives services provide care and support to adults with a learning disability, as well as others including older people, people with mental health problems, adults with a physical or sensory disability, and young people in transition.
People wanting to find out more about Shared Lives services in Powys can use the following contact details:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 01597 827247
- Address: Shared Lives Powys, The Gwalia, Ithon Road, Llandrindod Wells, Powys, LD1 6AA
Shared Lives Powys, Registered Manager, Richard Gwynn commented:
“We are actively recruiting Shared Lives carers and we’re keen to hear from anyone who is interested in this very rewarding work. Just pick up the phone or drop us a line. We’re happy to discuss what we do and give you all the information you need about the service. You don’t have to make a commitment, just get in touch and have a chat if it is something that interests you.”
Kirsty Williams, Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for Brecon and Radnorshire, said:
“This was an opportunity to meet some truly remarkable people. I’m enormously grateful to Mo and Ethan for letting me see the service first-hand. Hearing about the progress Ethan has made was a fantastic reflection on what Shared Lives services can offer.
“I hope to make more people in Brecon and Radnorshire aware of the service, and of course welcomed the chance to discuss what steps could be taken to further improve and enhance Shared Lives services in our communities.”
Further information about Shared Lives services can be found here.
Further information about the service in Powys can be found here.