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The Shared Lives Bedford team would like to say a big thank you to the inspirational carers who open up their homes to support young people and adults who have support needs.

‘Virtual’ parties are taking place across the UK as part of Shared Lives Week, organised by Shared Lives Plus. The UK charity is celebrating supporting more than 14,000 people with support needs who are matched with over 10,000 Shared Lives carers.

The Shared Lives Bedford team is hosting a virtual afternoon tea on Thursday 17 June, 2pm – 3pm. The event is for all of Bedford’s shared lives carers and service users to get together and for anyone wanting to find out more about caring arrangements enabling people with a learning disability to share their carer’s home and family life.

Cllr Wendy Rider, portfolio holder for adult services, said:

“We believe everyone has the right to live a full life, in a safe and friendly family home, regardless of the support they need.

“As we celebrate Shared Lives Week we want to thank our dedicated carers for the fantastic work they do in Bedford Borough, helping to create a kinder, stronger society.

“Over the past year, COVID-19 has presented challenges for many of our households, which only further emphasises the amazing job they do in helping to improve the lives of so many people.”

To join Bedford Borough shared lives carers at the virtual afternoon tea, on Thursday 17 June, 2pm – 3pm, visit

https://zoom.us/j/9870612866?pwd=Q28rcmRGQU8xME9zWXV0ejRWakdpQT09

Meeting ID: 987 061 2866

Passcode: SLWAT

Becoming a Shared Lives Carer

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

Shared Lives Carers, come from a range of careers and are carefully matched with their person with support needs. They are encouraged to help them develop practical skills, build self-esteem and establish new friendships and social networks in their own neighbourhood, which creates a sense of belonging and community.

Training and a support network is provided to all Shared Lives carers.

People who visit or live with Shared Lives carers in Bedford Borough range from young people aged from 16 years and adults with learning disabilities.

The support could be for short breaks, opportunities to join in activities or long-term placements.

Becoming a Shared Live carer also comes with a good salary, including up to £10k tax free, plus up to £6k tax free for each person supported (with a max of three people).

Carers are self-employed, so there are no zero hours contracts, which enables them to do the role as part of their family and life commitments.

To find out more about Shared Lives or becoming a Shared Lives carer and share your home and life with someone who needs support, please contact sharedlives@bedford.gov.uk or visit www.bedford.gov.uk/sharedlives.