Annie and Sarah are a highly musical Shared Lives match from Derby. When ITV visited them at home, they learned about Annie's mean Stevie Nicks impression, and how Shared Lives combines Sarah's great passions for personalised, relationship-based care with being able to play the saxophone and clarinet.
One of the types of flexible care offered is day support, in which a person receives support from a Shared Lives carer during the day. Usually, part of the support will be provided at the Shared Lives carer’s home and the person will also be supported to access activities of interest in the local community – whether that’s taking part in a hobby or just enjoying going shopping and going out for a bite to eat.
This is the sort of care Annie, aged 24, who has mental health issues and is blind, receives from Sarah Davis, aged 38, who previously worked as a special educational needs advisor for a user-led disability charity. The pair, who live in Derby, were matched because of their shared love of music.
Annie is a very talented musician – and capable of a mean Stevie Nicks impression – while Sarah plays both the saxophone and clarinet and plays in both a function band and for theatre shows. Together, they enjoy spending their days getting out and about to local cafes and in the evenings, they love performing together at ‘open mic’ nights.
Sarah, who is married to Dean Davis, the Shared Lives coordinator at Derbyshire County Council, and also supports several other people as part of the scheme said: “I first found out about Shared Lives while writing support plans and advising on direct payments. I wanted to become a Shared Lives carer for a while, but needed to pick the right time. Also I think it’s the most innovative and personalised form of support and I wanted to be able to combine my two careers – social care and music.”
When asked what the best bit of being a Shared Lives carer is, she explained: “I love making a weekly difference to people’s lives and the wonderful relationships I’ve been able to form with the people I support and their carers. I also love sharing music with people and using it as therapy; particularly for the older people I support who have Dementia and Alzheimer’s.”
Take a look at ITV Central’s visit to the Davis household below:
If you’ve got room in your home and heart – start your journey to becoming a Shared Lives carer today!