A scheme where carers share their family lives with the people they care for is appealing for more people to take part.

The innovative Shared Lives scheme involves adults in need of support moving into their carers homes, either long term, short term or for short sessions at a time.

There are 112 shared lives carers in Cheshire East supporting 240 adults with learning disabilities, mental health support needs and dementia related conditions, and the shared lives team want to recruit 50 more carers in the next 12 months.

Ordinary people can become Shared Lives carers and are matched with vulnerable adults according to their compatibility.

Carers, who must be over 18, are self employed and receive a financial allowance, training and support.

Barbara Lockett, from Macclesfield is an approved shared lives carer and provides regular respite to vulnerable adults with learning disabilities.

Barbara has been involved in Cheshire East’s shared lives service for almost 20 years.

Mrs Lockett said: “I love what I do. I meet some wonderful people and we do lots of things they enjoy – baking, shopping and feeding the animals. I get lots of pleasure out of doing what I do and would recommend it to anyone. The shared lives team are really supportive and always there when I need them.”

People who are interested are assessed by the team and if successful, they are matched to a person needing support.

They must be over 18, have experience in care work and be willing to share their own home.

The council is an ambassador of the scheme and is encouraging more people to sign up.

The theme of this year's recruitment drive is #AllAbouttheMatch, focusing on the match process where ordinary people become the shared lives carers and are matched for compatibility.

Cheshire East Councillor Janet Clowes - Cabinet member in charge of adults, health and leisure said: “’Shared Lives’ is very rewarding for many of our carers who give their time to such a beneficial scheme.

"To ensure success, we need to match people with the same common interests and values so that both parties are compatible, and so that those with a learning disability or mental health can adapt and fit in with their new family.

“The long-term benefits of such a scheme means that those most vulnerable in our community are supported.”

There will be a recruitment drive at Poynton Library on Friday, October 23, at 10am.

To find out more about Cheshire East’s shared lives scheme, please visit

cheshireeast.gov.uk/care-and-support or alternatively call the team on 01270 375456.

You can also follow on Twitter using the hashtags #SharedLives and #AllAboutTheMatch