Camphill Village Trust Shared Lives continues to grow across the region – “Whoever is matched to Claire and Wez is very lucky indeed”

March 27, 2023
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Published by Dudley CVS
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Camphill Village Trust Shared Lives continues to grow across the region, following a successful approval of the first family recruited by the scheme in the City of Wolverhampton!

“Whoever is matched to Claire and Wez is very lucky indeed!”… These were the words of Davinder Tiwana, Camphill Village Trust’s Shared Lives Independent Panel Chair following the successful approval recommendation of Claire and Wesley Hatch.

Claire and Wesley (known as Wez to you and I), moved to Wolverhampton from Devon in 2021 to enable Claire to further her training and career in the Police, and to offer their 3 teenage children new social, education and future employment opportunities within the Black Country that may not be so readily accessible in the South West.

The move prompted their application to Camphill Village Trust Shared Lives, to enable them to follow their passion to support adults with additional and complex needs. In just a short space of time, Claire, Wez and their three teenage children have developed new friendships and social networks within the area, a key aspect of working as a Shared Lives Carer.

“We want everyone to feel loved and cared for, to know their worth and have a voice” – Claire and Wez Hatch.

The couple showcased their many years’ experience within more traditional care settings, and demonstrated their sound values, experience and commitment to the Shared Lives Panel, who were blown away by their balanced, thoughtful and innovative approaches to supporting adults with additional and complex needs.

As a starting point Shared Lives is sometimes described as ‘a little bit like foster care for adults’, but it is so much more than that, as we enable the person to make their own choices in life, take control and maximise their independence.

Shared Lives Schemes like Camphill Village Trust, recruit and offer specialist training to carers, who open up their own homes to support adults with additional/complex needs, not only to be part of a family and to generate a sense of belonging, but also provide a life of opportunity, which they otherwise wouldn’t necessarily have the chance to experience.

Shared Lives is extremely flexible, and the person is carefully matched to live or stay on either a live-in, short-break or day support basis. So, someone might come and live permanently with carers, have weekend respite or just a session during the day or night and be supported to access local amenities/activities. The aim of Shared Lives is to always support the person to develop the practical, social and emotional skills to lead as independent life as possible, whilst remaining at the heart of the community.

The growing scheme, based in Stourbridge, works in partnership with Social Care and Health teams across the Black Country region to increase the range of support from the more traditional Learning Disability model, to include all areas of need including; supporting people with mental ill health, early-on-set dementia, hospital discharges, older people, physical disabilities, people on the Autistic Spectrum and those with other complex support needs.

Head of Service Kate Morgan states “The approval process to become a Shared Lives Carer includes a bespoke induction training package and relevant checks and references. The process can take between 6-12 weeks, and this time allows the scheme worker to assess the persons commitment, skills and values, which is then quality assured by our Independent Panel. In return, Shared Lives carers earn up to £600 per week and can claim tax relief as they have self-employed status.”

To become a Shared Lives carer, you must be over 18 years of age and don’t need specific qualifications, just the right values, commitment and of course, a spare bedroom.

To find out more about becoming a Shared Lives Carer, call 01384 441505 or go to https://bit.ly/40G3IBt

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