Doncaster Council launches Shared Lives with Avalon

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Doncaster Council Chief Executive Jo Miller, Mayor Ros Jones, Shared Lives Plus Vice Chair Nancy Plowes, Avalon CEO Larry Hollando, Head of Adults and Community Joan Beck and Councillor Pat Knight.
Doncaster Council Chief Executive Jo Miller, Mayor Ros Jones, Shared Lives Plus Vice Chair Nancy Plowes, Avalon CEO Larry Hollando, Head of Adults and Community Joan Beck and Councillor Pat Knight.

Doncaster Council is working in partnership with The Avalon Group (a social care charity) to deliver their Shared Lives service to Doncaster residents.

Shared Lives offers an alternative to more traditional care options, such as residential or domiciliary care.

Under the Shared Lives Scheme, paid carers offer adults with disabilities or a health condition (who are eligible to access the Service) a place to live in their own home.

Care is offered on a short or long term basis. Day opportunities will also be available through Avalon’s Daybreak Service, which offers a combination of home based and external activities, designed to suit individual interests.

The Service can offer a great opportunity for individuals to develop their confidence and independence within a family environment.

It can also provide the ideal support option to older people who can no longer remain in their own homes, but want to retain as much independence as possible within a caring family environment.

Over the next 3 years, Doncaster Council and Avalon will be working to recruit up to 60 new Shared Lives Carers supporting up to 80 individuals.

Comprehensive training is provided free of charge by Avalon, so people who do not have a Care Sector background may be interested in applying to work as a Shared Lives Carer. People with a Care Sector background are also encouraged to apply.

Denis and Linda Birkin, of Conisbrough, are Shared Lives Carers who have worked with Avalon for ten years. Throughout this time they have supported the same young man from childhood, through adolescence and now as an adult.

Denis said: “We want to say how valuable we have found the service to be, we see our work as something really rewarding

“Avalon have been a really great help to us, delivering excellent quality training with commitment and dedication.

“Without Avalon supporting us it would become so much more difficult to share our home as a shared lives supporter. It really has to be the way forward.”
Councillor Pat Knight, cabinet member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “We want to ensure that residents in Doncaster have access to a range of modern care services and Shared Lives offers something very unique.

“People will become part of the family, receiving flexible and personalised support in a caring environment whilst the carers themselves receive quality training and assistance. I am sure there will be a lot of demand for this excellent service and I expect it to go from strength to strength.”
Avalon’s Director of Operations, Julie Colley said: “We are very excited to be working in Doncaster and believe that Shared Lives can really make a positive difference to adults requiring care and support, enabling them to live as part of a family whilst developing skills and working towards personal goals.”

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