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Jennifer’s Story

Posted 09:45AM on Friday 21 October 2016

The Families Matter Shared Lives Service is a model of support which provides family based provision for people with a learning disability, acquired brain injury or autistic spectrum condition. Volunteer Shared Lives Carers are from all walks of life and they provide support in long term permanent arrangements or short breaks, in their own homes. The people we support, their families and Shared Lives Carers find this a very rewarding experience and both they and their family circles have many stories of how their lives are enriched through these experiences.

This is Jennifer’s story.

I have been supporting David for the past 13 years. He is now 22 years of age. David has a disability which results in him having limited speech and mobility, although he can walk with some assistance. Despite additional health issues, David is a very happy and sociable person. 

As a Shared Lives Carer, I support David in a variety of ways. I support him with his personal care and I encourage him to enjoy a good social life. He attends a day centre four days per week and I am advocating on his behalf for him to have a fifth day. Last year I checked out a church group for David which he has become a valued member of. 

I also support David to attend all his hospital visits with him and make sure that in all aspects of his health and well being that he gets the medical, physical and social support to meet his needs.

The support I get as a carer from Positive Futures’ staff includes attending various training courses which I enjoy. I also get the opportunity to join other Shared Lives Carers and families at various fun days and support group meetings, as well as the annual Christmas party. It’s fantastic for David and myself and other members of my family to meet and befriend other carers and their loved ones.

Through the Families Matter Shared Lives Service, my son and daughter both provide short breaks for David. This is a wonderful aspect of Shared Lives as I can have a break from my caring responsibilities knowing that David is being respected, loved and cared for by my family members.

If you are interested in applying to become a Carer, please contact Liz Palmer on 07812 975 672, or email