Take the first step to supporting someone in your home this Shared Lives Week

This Shared Lives week (13-17 June 2022) Southampton City Council is asking residents if they could open their homes to someone who needs support

Family sitting on sofa with Nintendo Switch

Shared Lives is a scheme run by Southampton City Council. Individuals and families provide care in their home for up to three people with disabilities, aged over 18. Shared Lives Carers are carefully matched with the person they will care for.

Shared Lives carers provide help with:

  • Daily tasks such as dressing and meal preparation
  • Learning new skills or how to live independently
  • Building new friendships and social networks

To become a Shared Lives carer, you must be over 18 years of age. You don’t need specific qualifications, only the right values, commitment and a spare bedroom. Training and a support network are provided to all Shared Lives carers.

Councillor Lorna Fielker, Cabinet Member for Health, Adults and Leisure said: "Shared Lives is a brilliant initiative that brings together people who need help and support with those who want to offer a caring family environment. I would like to thank all our Shared Lives carers for the amazing work they do."

"I would encourage anyone who is looking for a rewarding career to consider Shared Lives. We are looking for both full time carers, and people who can give few hours a week or a weekend a month. If you are interested please contact our Shared Lives team."

Mandy Bedford became a Shared Lives Carer after seeing how it enriched her mother’s life, and the lives of those she cared for. Now, 30 years later, Mandy is retiring. She is passing on the baton to her daughter Ellen, who has applied to be a Shared Lives Carer in Southampton.

Mandy describes her role “I have loved being a Shared Lives Carer, even in the hard and busy times. Over the years I’ve given my all to looking after the ladies who have been in my care. I always treat the person I am looking after as family, assisting them during the night or being there in the day if they are ill, simply sharing life together, and even taking them on holiday with me and my children. I’ve seen first-hand how these ladies have blossomed in later life.

"I’ve always felt supported by the Shared Lives team, even out of hours during the pandemic, there was always someone at the end of the phone, providing encouragement and advice. Being a Shared Lives Carer requires commitment and dedication, but is so rewarding. My life has been enriched by the ladies I have looked after.”

Please visit our Shared Lives page for more information.