On Wednesday, May 25th, 2022, Lin and Jim Corbett were recognised for their incredible work as Shared Lives Carers with Camphill Village Trust Shared Lives and attended the Queen’s Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace with UK membership charity Shared Lives Plus.
Lin and Jim from Kingswinford, Dudley, were among six Shared Lives carers who were nominated from Shared Lives schemes across the UK for their outstanding work.
Their nomination was made by Senior Shared Lives Area Coordinator Sue Caddick who commented, “We have supported Jim and Lin over the past three years and during that time, we have found them to be exceptional Carers. They put the three young men they care for at the heart of everything they do. They seek out opportunities and experiences for them and build upon their interests and skills. Jim and Lin have boundless energy, and their enthusiasm is evident for all to see. They work tirelessly every day to care for and make sure the people they support participate in various activities, social events, and holidays to meet their individual needs”.
Over the course of each year, The Queen welcomes over 30,000 guests to spend a relaxed summer afternoon in the beautiful gardens of Buckingham Palace or the Palace of Holyrood house. Garden Parties have been an important way for The Queen to speak to a broad range of people from all walks of life, all of whom have positively impacted their community. While 2022 saw Garden Parties resume after a two-year break caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, The Queen’s mobility issues meant that other Royal Family members hosted them.
Kate Morgan, Registered Manager for the Camphill Village Trust Shared Lives Scheme, said: “We are so proud that the work of Shared Lives Carers across the UK has been recognised through the incredible contributions they make to the lives of the people they support. It is a huge honour to be invited to Buckingham Palace and one that Lin and Jim more than deserve. Here at Camphill Village Trust Shared Lives, we support almost 100 Shared Lives Carers across the Dudley Borough and surrounding area. Each of them does an amazing job – we only wish we could have nominated everyone!”
On attending the Garden Party, Lin and Jim said, “It was a complete surprise and honour to be invited to the garden party. A truly memorable day. We felt so humbled to be able to represent all Shared Lives Carers, who are all equally as special as we were made to feel. It was a day of showers that gave way to glorious sunshine, which was truly apt as a reflection of our lives as Shared Lives Carers, as we support the people who live with us through the storms and sunshine of their lives. The highlight of our amazing day was meeting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and, in that brief time, telling them all about Shared Lives”.
Across the UK, 10,000 Shared Lives Carers are supporting more than 15,000 adults through 150 different schemes. The sector has grown by more than 30 per cent in recent years. Local Shared Lives services are fully regulated by the Care Quality Commission, which consistently rates the model as the best quality and safest form of adult social care, with 96% of all Shared Lives schemes rated as good or outstanding.
Although still relatively unknown, Shared Lives is a unique model of personalised support and accommodation, with a very strong track record of transforming lives, going back many years. 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 to 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 a life as possible, whilst remaining at the heart of the community.
To become a Shared Lives carer, you must be over 18 years of age and don’t need specific qualifications, just the right values, and a spare bedroom. To find out more about becoming a Shared Lives Carer, call 01384 441505 or go to Shared Lives West Midlands | Adult Support| Camphill Village Trust.
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To find out about a scheme in your local area, then please go to: www.sharedlivesplus.org.uk/find-your-local-scheme.