An innovative service which enables people with learning disabilities or mental health needs to live in a family home has been launched by social enterprise PSS and Manchester City Council.
PSS Manchester Shared Lives, which pairs up vulnerable adults and young people over 16 with a specially recruited and trained carer and their family, will be launched at Manchester Town Hall.
Carers, people who use the service and professionals will attend the event to hear how this innovative approach to social care is transforming the lives of vulnerable adults, enabling them to enjoy family and community life.
PSS is running the project on behalf of Manchester City Council, working alongside its current in-house scheme and has recently opened a new centre in the city.
Lesley Dixon, chief executive of PSS, said: “We are very excited to be launching Shared Lives in Manchester in partnership with Manchester City Council.
“We’ve been operating it successfully in other parts of the North West and across the UK and it is really transforming the lives of many vulnerable adults who are able to benefit from living a full life in a family environment, within a supportive community.”
Councillor Paul Andrews, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Adult Health and Wellbeing, said: “We are pleased to expand our Shared Lives offer in partnership with PSS. The scheme gives vulnerable adults the opportunity of experiencing life within another family setting – offering positive support enabling vulnerable individuals to feel valued while living independently in the heart of the community.”
Shared Lives carers receive payment, training and ongoing support and the initiative is already operating successfully in other parts of the North West, where dozens of vulnerable adults live with a family, placing them in the heart of the community.
A national report on Shared Lives recently concluded that this alternative home-based form of care is transforming the lives of almost 10,000 people nationally.
Shared Lives, formed more than 30 years ago, is focused around choice and independence with careful matches made between carers and the people they care for.
The aim is to allow people to pursue ordinary lives within their chosen families and relationships and to feel valued within the community.
PSS is now looking to recruit carers willing to share their homes with a vulnerable adult in the Manchester area.
Carers can provide anything from a short break to long term care and come from all walks of life. Some people may have had experience of caring for others in the past, others will have grown up children who have left home. Some may have large families who help with the care, others live on their own with the person they support.
Carers don’t need to have any previous experience of care they just have to be keen to learn and take part in PSS’s training programme and, crucially, be caring and willing to go that little bit further to make a difference to someone else’s life.