Share your home and make a big difference to someone's life

Reading Borough Council are encouraging people from all walks of life and no previous care experience to find out more about Shared Lives; a care and support service for people aged 16+ who want to live independently in their community with a family who provide paid support in their own home. It’s an alternative to supported living or residential care - a bit like fostering for adults.

If you have a spare room and would like to play a key part in making a positive difference to someone’s life Reading Borough Council want to hear from you. You need to either own or rent your own home, which has a spare bedroom and be willing to share your home and family life and provide practical and emotional support to people with a learning or physical disability, mental ill health, dementia or other ongoing needs - helping them to live their lives more fully and independently.

You’ll receive ongoing training, be paid for the people you support and get to see the amazing difference you can make to someone’s life. It could be anything from occasional short breaks or daytime support through to a longer-term, full-time arrangement.

You can be single, a single parent, a couple who live together, married couple, couples with children or friends sharing accommodation. Ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability are not barriers. No qualifications or experience are needed, the scheme are looking for people who can communicate effectively, build positive relationships and enable people to make positive choices and decisions.

The arrangement begins as a trial period, tailored to individual needs with a view to establishing a longer-term arrangement.

Ben, Lizzie, Lorna, Maggie, Philip and Brendan feature in our video and explain more about the scheme. Shared Lives Carer Lorna says “If you’re somebody who cares you could do this”. Ben describes his experience of Shared Lives as “Your carers are like foster carers” and they “Got me into college and helped me get a job”. Retired nurse Maggie and her husband are Shared Lives Carers for Brendan who works as gardener and Philip who works as cleaner and volunteer, they describe their best memory as their first Christmas all together.

Ben, Philip, Lizzie and Brendan’s stories are humbling to watch and their Shared Lives Carers are helping to build a kinder and stronger community.

If you care and could make a positive contribution to someone’s life, get in touch with our Shared Lives team and find out more about the service.

If you are looking for a life change, a better work/life balance or a meaningful role - this could be a great option for you. To find out more about Shared Lives and sharing your home and life with someone who needs support, please contact the team at Reading Borough Council, email sharedlives@reading.gov.uk or call 0118 937 3700

Find out more about Shared Lives