In this story: Adult social care /

"Shared Lives means being supported in the right way in the right environment by amazing people."

“Before I moved here my life was so hectic. I used to stay on people’s floors, I did drugs, would drink, it was awful. I just wanted to forget the pain I suppose. I was covered in eczema from head to toe. My auntie said I could stay with her for a couple of months. 18 months on the social worker said we were going to look for a Shared Lives carer and it just happened so quickly. I went for my dinner and then I moved in. It just felt right. It was really quick and really good.

Now I feel safe and wanted and loved and nurtured and looked after and cared for. I go out with my mates all the time, I never used to do that. I love going out with my friends, recently I’ve met new friends from Ireland, Plymouth and Newcastle. It’s great, I’m quite chatty.

I volunteer at Oxfam three days a week and I love working there. I also volunteer at a radio station and I volunteer with children with learning disabilities, but I haven’t done that for a while because of COVID-19. COVID-19 was really hard. I kept thinking when is it going to end, I couldn’t see my family.

I’d say to anyone to go into Shared Lives. If I could have done it when I was younger I would have. Just being at my home now makes me feel so supported, and Shared Lives and my social worker support me. I want to go traveling, me and my Shared Lives carers go traveling quite a lot and that’s nice. I call them my mum and dad.

Shared Lives means being supported in the right way in the right environment by amazing people. They’re just wonderful, I big up Shared Lives to everyone, I’m an ambassador. I spoke at parliament, I’ve been in a magazine and I was in the paper last week, it’s great. Everyone says I’m famous, I say I’m not, I’m just me.”

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