York charity The Avalon group is holding a special celebration event in York on 23rd June, in recognition of its 50th Shared Lives household. The event, which takes place at St Aelred’s Community Centre, will bring together carers and social care professionals from across the city to mark the milestone, whilst also highlighting the impact the service has had on the community.
In Shared Lives, trained carers open their homes to offer a short or long-term living placement to an adult with a care need. Since welcoming its 50th carer household, the York scheme is now one of the biggest in the UK and offers additional services such as respite and day support to give more local people the chance to be supported.
Key to the success of Shared Lives in York has been its emphasis on personalised support for adults with disabilities, which sees individuals supported in a safe, family environment. This has been proven to result in great outcomes and improved wellbeing for those using the scheme, whilst decreasing reliance on other services such as community nurses.
Shared Lives also represents a cost benefit to local authorities and the public purse, with each Shared Lives placement saving on average £26,000 per year for an adult with a learning disability.
The scheme has been growing in size nationally over the past decade and has been given a target of doubling in size by 2020. One of the aims of Shared Lives Week this year is to raise more awareness of the service so that new carer families will come forward and cities like York continue to grow their offering, becoming beacons of good practice for other areas.
Speaking about the event, Avalon CEO Larry Hollando said “All of our York carers do an incredible job and deserve to be celebrated. What better way is there to make someone feel at home and part of a community than helping them become part of a real family, where life is shared and memories are made together? This is what all York carers do each and every day. We look forward to honouring this wonderful work and to keep building on the success of Shared Lives in York.”