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Celebrating Shared Lives Week 2024

Celebrating Shared Lives Week 2024

Stories of love, support, and achievement

As we celebrate Shared Lives Week from June 24 to June 28, 2024, we’re excited to share heartwarming stories of individuals whose lives have been transformed through the Camphill Village Trust Shared Lives. These stories show the close relationships, successes, and positive impacts created by our Shared Lives Carers and the people they support. 

Dennis’s journey: Celebrating a lifetime of Shared Lives

Dennis has lived with Lynne and Ian for an astounding 39 years, and this year, he celebrated his 80th birthday. Dennis first joined Lynne and Ian’s family in 1985, when Shared Lives was known as Adult Placement. Over nearly four decades, he has become an integral part of their family, sharing countless special occasions, events, and celebrations.

To mark his milestone birthday, Lynne and Ian’s daughter, Lucie, and her partner, Ozz, arranged a memorable celebration at a Stourbridge Football Club match. As a lifelong fan of the Stourbridge Glassboys, Dennis was thrilled to reconnect with old friends and share his birthday cake among cheering fans. The joy and support from the community were palpable as they chanted “Happy Birthday” to Dennis.

Reflecting on his time with Lynne and Ian, Dennis said, “It has been lovely living with Lynne and Ian! I like all the family!” Although Dennis has decided to move on to better accommodate his increasing care needs, the love and bonds formed will always remain.

Lynne and Ian’s dedication over the years showcases the essence of Shared Lives – offering adults with additional needs the opportunity to live as part of a family, creating long-term relationships, and providing a supportive and caring environment.

Sean’s path to independence and employment 

Sean’s story is one of determination and growth. For the past 8 years, Sean has lived with Diane and David, who have supported him in pursuing his goals and passions. Sean’s schedule is packed with activities that reflect his commitment to living a life of opportunity.

Sean has worked hard to secure a paid role as a street cleaner, thanks to his skills and support from his Shared Lives Carers and the Wolverhampton Supported Employment Team. He also attends college two and a half days a week, studying life skills such as gardening, cooking, and plumbing. Sean’s independence continues to grow as he navigates to and from college and work on his own, building new friendships along the way.

Sports and exercise play a significant role in Sean’s life. He participates in weekly football sessions with the Wolves Foundation Team and cricket with a local group for adults with learning disabilities. His dedication has earned him medals in football competitions, and he even finds time to walk the dogs and go on bike rides.

Sean’s love for adventure also takes him on holidays with his Shared Lives Carers, including a recent trip to the Lake District and a memorable holiday in Jamaica. His achievements and experiences reflect the supportive and nurturing environment provided by Diane and David.

Sean from Shared Lives west midlands

Chloe’s advocacy and achievements 

Chloe’s journey from foster care to Shared Lives is a testament to her resilience and advocacy for inclusivity. Chloe has lived her Shared Lives Carers Jan and Gez since she was 6 years old, and her transition to Shared Lives has allowed her to continue pursuing her dreams and passions.

Shared Lives west midlands

Despite facing challenges due to her Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) diagnosis, Chloe has become a powerful advocate for employment inclusivity. Her journey includes winning the Rotary Wolverhampton Young Citizen Award and meeting with MPs to discuss the barriers people with additional needs face in achieving their goals.

Chloe’s determination to find paid employment and her advocacy efforts have made her a recognised voice in her community. She has set up various social media platforms to create a safe space for discussing FASD and has been featured in local media for her inspiring story.

Chloe has since been noticed by several journalists and local media outlets, including Birmingham Live who approached Chloe via X, impressed by her determination. With the support of her Shared Lives Carers Jan and Gez, Chloe has held various interviews for local press, with more to come! When asked what advice Chloe would give to people who are in the same position as her, she responded: “Speak your mind! If you don’t speak up when you are younger, you are not going to get the support and help you want. Don’t be scared speaking out.”

Find out more about Chloe’s story: 

Watch Chloe’s feature on ITV News Central here: Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: ‘Why ignorance about my condition stops me from getting a job’ | ITV News Central

Birmingham Live: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/black-country/my-mother-drank-much-before-28184402

Express & Star: Wolverhampton campaigner takes fight to Parliament over ‘hidden disability’ FASD | Express & Star (expressandstar.com)

Chloe’s story shows how, with the right support, individuals in Shared Lives can achieve amazing things. Jan and Gez’s encouragement and commitment have empowered Chloe to become a powerful voice for change. 

Join us for Shared Lives Open Day and 2024 re-launch 

As we celebrate these incredible stories during Shared Lives Week, we invite you to join us for our Shared Lives Open Day and 2024 Re-Launch on Friday, June 28. This event will be held at Dudley Canal and Caverns from 11am to 3pm GMT+1. 

What to expect: 

  • Network with like-minded individuals and organizations 
  • Learn all about the Shared Lives model of care 
  • Meet our staff team, Shared Lives Carers, and the people we support 

We are excited to celebrate the re-launch of our Camphill Village Trust Shared Lives Scheme, following our successful contract retention with Dudley Metropolitan Council. In partnership with Dudley Metropolitan Council and City of Wolverhampton Council, we aim to grow and develop Shared Lives across the region, offering a life of opportunity to more people. 

Whether you’re interested in becoming a Shared Lives Carer, looking at how you or a loved one could use the service, or just have an interest in local initiatives, this event is for you! 

Reserve your spot now!

Why you should consider being part of Shared Lives 

Shared Lives offers a unique and fulfilling opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of others. By becoming a Shared Lives Carer, you provide adults with additional needs the chance to live as part of a family, building long-term, supportive relationships. It’s a rewarding experience that enriches the lives of both carers and the people they support. 

Join us in celebrating Shared Lives Week 2024 and discover how you can be a part of this wonderful community. Your involvement can help create more heartwarming stories like those of Dennis, Sean, and Chloe.

#BetterShared #WeAreSharedLives

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