BURY is set to play its part in the expansion of a radical form of care that centres on sharing “home, family and community life”.

Shared Lives is set to double in size across England after securing a £1.75 million grant from the Big Lottery and Nesta Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund.

The Bury Shared Lives scheme, originally set up with Bolton but independent since 2006, is run through the council’s adult care services.

It recruits, trains and supports carers who are able to provide care and support to residents either long-term, for overnight respite, or day support.

Residents referred to the scheme are adults who may have a learning disability, mental health issue or be an older person.

They will have been assessed as being eligible for council-funded services, and may require support in managing their daily routines, such as cooking, household tasks and personal care.

Alex Fox, chief executive of Shared Lives Plus, said: “Shared Lives currently helps 10,000 older and disabled adults nationally to lead fulfilling and active lives. Uniquely, it enables people from all kinds of backgrounds to draw on their families, friends and neighbours in supporting some of our most isolated and vulnerable citizens, using the Shared Lives carer’s own family home.

“Through working with the Big Lottery Fund and Nesta over the next five years, we have the opportunity to double the number of people accessing this innovative model of care and Bury Shared Lives scheme can play an exciting role in expanding their scheme here.

“Sharing home, community and family life doesn’t just create happier lives for people living in Shared Lives arrangements, it also provides value for taxpayers and local authorities, with an average saving for some groups of £26,000 per user compared with traditional care services.”

n—Bury is looking for people aged 18 years and over who can provide day support or overnight respite. Shared Lives carers may also offer long-term placements to adults, which can last for several months or years, while the customer being supported may work towards moving on to supported living.

Shared Lives carers, who should be Bury residents, receive a payment according to the amount and type of support they provide.

For an informal discussion: call the Shared Lives Team on 0161 253 7211/7281 or email SharedLivesScheme@bury.