New Shared Lives Scheme thriving in the Black Country

In a little over two years since Camphill Village Trust added Shared Lives to their already established Black Country community, the new scheme has gone from strength to strength.

Shared Lives is a relatively unknown model of care, similar to foster care, where specially trained Carers open up their home and support people with additional/complex needs to lead as independent life as possible and stay connected with the local community. 

Currently, there are approximately 14,000 people being supported up and down the UK in this way.

New Carers like Chris and Nicky from Kingswinford who were approved by an Independent Panel last November and were carefully matched with Alex in March of this year as part of a live-in Arrangement, are now starting to reap the benefits of this fresh approach.

For Alex this has meant getting used to new family routines to further develop his independence. He said:

”Where I lived before, I was getting up when I wanted and eating ready meals every day, but I’ve got lots more things to do now and I’ve learned how to cook my favourite meal, spaghetti bolognese.

“I’d never touched an iron, but Chris has shown me how to do my own washing and ironing.’

With the support of Chris and Nicky, Alex is also starting to take on new challenges, writing to the Black Country Museum about volunteering and starting a college course. Chris and Nicky added:

“Before Alex was matched to live with us, he was leading a quite unfulfilled lifestyle. I think it would be fair to say he did not have certain life skills that we possibly all take for granted.

”Now, just a few months on, Alex has really grasped the opportunities that have been presented to him, he has settled well into our family set up and is flourishing within his new environments. 

“As this is our first Shared Lives Arrangement, the scheme has been soencouraging; right from the assessment and induction process, we were always confident about Kate and the team supporting us.”

Shared Lives offers opportunity for those people with the right values and commitment to develop a social care career and earn up to £29,000 annually as a self-employed Carer. Huw John, Chief Executive of Camphill Village Trust, added:

“It isimportant for any charity today to be able to respond to the changing social care world and the Shared Lives model sits neatly within ourexisting services and community-based ethos. 

“The new scheme has brought a lot of energy to our Stourbridge community, which is now at the centre to a network of Shared Lives Arrangements across the region. 

“This not only provides new housing and support options but also offerspeople the chance to lead the life of opportunity they deserve.’

If people wish to find out more about how the scheme is developing, you can contact Kate Morgan on 01384 441505 or by email to


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