Published: Wednesday, 21st November 2018

Actress and author Arabella Weir has made a film with two Greenwich women to help celebrate a home-based adult care scheme in the Royal Borough.

The star of The Fast Show met a carer, Mary, and a service user, Sinead, from Royal Greenwich Shared Lives Service, part of a national scheme that matches people with learning disabilities or other lifelong support needs with a local carer.

Mary is a former mental health worker with a degree in health and learning disability, while Sinead lives with Mary instead of in a care facility elsewhere.

Shared Lives captured the visit in a video:

Mary said: “I’ve always liked looking after people and caring – I would recommend anyone to do it, I’ve recommended it to my daughters and friends to be Shared Lives carers.”

Sinead said: “She’s a lovely woman, ever since I first met her.”

Community living

They are both part of the Shared Lives Plus network, where paid carers help people live independent lives in local communities in their carer’s home, for short- or long-term placements.

Arabella first heard about Shared Lives on the radio earlier this year, and decided that it was an interesting way of sharing her life with those who need help.

She said: “It seems such a common sense idea to me – that people who need support can live in ordinary family homes – instead of being taken to a care home or hospital away from everyone they know.”

Carers in Greenwich

At present, Royal Greenwich Shared Lives has 35 carers and 44 adults in placements.

Cllr Averil Lekau, Cabinet Member for Adult’s Social Care, Health and Anti-Poverty, said: “This is very worthwhile scheme that helps people stay in their local communities instead of in a residential care facility, and if you’re interested please get in touch and help transform someone else’s quality of life.”