Calling all Bedford people: Could you open up your home to support someone with learning disabilities?
The appeal is being made as part of the council's Shared Lives scheme
Bedford Borough Council is appealing to the public to open up their homes to support people with learning disabilities.
Shared Lives is a scheme run by the council where people support those aged 16 and over.
As a member of the scheme you will be paid to provide support from your own home or the wider community.
Each placement is tailored to the needs and requirements of the individual person - from hourly support to long-term places to live and is open to individuals, couples or families.
Joe, transferred into the Shared Lives scheme from foster care to help him gain independence, while still being part of a family.
He is supported in cooking meals, household chores, money management and independently travelling as well as exploring social activities.
Chris and Maureen have been Shared Lives carers for the past six years, supporting Joe for nearly two of those.
Chris said: “My wife, Maureen, came up with the idea of Shared Lives about 15 years ago. I hadn’t considered the idea of shared lives as I wasn’t really the caring type and I didn’t know what to expect.
“It’s been a rewarding experience supporting Joe. His confidence has improved, and he now does his own laundry, and cooks independently. He came into his own when he used a recipe to make a lemon drizzle cake. Joe’s cake is truly superb and he’s justifiably proud of his signature dish.”
If you are patient, have empathy and a sense of humour, you could become a Shared Lives carer.