Thirty years of dedication – celebrating Oxfordshire’s Shared Lives carers

Some of Oxfordshire’s most dedicated carers have been celebrated at an event marking the significant milestones they have achieved while supporting others.

Shared Lives is a scheme run by Oxfordshire County Council that matches caring households with adults who have additional care needs, offering them a place to stay and grow their independence.

At any one time, around 100 people are supported through the programme in Oxfordshire. And last night, at Abingdon’s Drayton Golf Club, carers were celebrated for welcoming people into their homes for periods of 10, 20 and 30 years.

One of those receiving an award for 30 years of dedication to the shared lives scheme was Sue Clayton. Sue lives in a village on the outskirts of Wallingford and has supported more than 30 people during her time in the programme.

Sue said:It’s been an interesting 30 years! I would recommend this to other people, and I often do. It’s kept me young! I would urge even more people to come forward and get involved.

Rosemary Dean (pictured above) was also acknowledged for sharing 30 years of her life supporting others. Rosemary lives near Watlington and decided to take part in the scheme after adapting her home for a family member to move in. Having initially supported older people, she now supports younger people through Shared Lives as well.

Rosemary said:Being a part of Shared Lives and literally extending our family to include the wonderful variety of people we have met over the years, has been a privilege. It has been very rewarding and an honour.” 

The evening celebrated 19 households in total, with awards handed out by senior leaders at Oxfordshire County Council including: Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Councillor Tim Bearder; Chief Executive, Martin Reeves; Deputy Director of Adult Social Care, Victoria Baran and Executive Director of People, Stephen Chandler.

Councillor Tim Bearder, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “It’s been an absolute honour to be a part of the awards, celebrating some of our county’s most dedicated carers. I’ve seen first hand how  Shared Lives brings benefits not only to the adults being offered support, but also how the experience gives back to the carers who are opening up their homes. 

“Shared Lives is the epitome of our Oxfordshire Way vision – supporting people to live happy, independent lives in their own communities. I offer my thanks to everyone involved for making such a difference to people’s lives.”

Shared Lives carers come from all walks of life, from different backgrounds and live in all kinds of homes. You can earn up to £500 a week by supporting someone at home and fit it around your life and work commitments.

If you think you could support an adult with additional needs, you can find out more about the programme at oxfordshire.gov.uk/sharedlives or calling 01865 897971

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