For gardener Terry having someone to care for him has changed his life.
Now the team behind a unique scheme are urging more people to open their homes and make a difference to people like Terry.
Kirklees Council is appealing for people to offer support and accommodation for adults who are vulnerable or who have a disability.
Known as the Kirklees Shared Lives scheme, they’re recruiting carers who can offer support on a long-term basis or even short-term respite.
A recruitment and information day takes place tomorrow at the Textile Centre, Red Doles Lane, off Leeds Road, from 1pm-5pm.
Among those to benefit from the Shared Lives scheme is Terry, who went to live with Thornhill couple Pat and Elaine in November 2010.
Terry has learning disabilities and has worked full-time as a gardener for 10 years – a job he loves. The couple welcomed Terry into their lives and it’s made the world of difference to them all.
Terry said: “I like it here. I go to work and come and go and have my own key. I like Elaine’s cooking and feel safe and wanted here.”
Although Elaine has worked in care all her working life, it’s not a requirement to become a Shared Lives carer.
She said: “All you have to do is care, have common sense and a sense of humour.
“People think we’re doing it just for Terry, but it’s for us as well, especially as our kids are grown up and have moved out.”
Pat and Terry work together on an allotment and do the gardening together.
“He’s great company. We have a right laugh,” Pat said.
Shared Lives Carers are self- employed and receive an allowance payment.
Once approved as a carer, they are allocated a support worker and are given regular training.
Clr Molly Walton, Joint Cabinet member for adult social care services, said: “For many people the Shared Lives scheme allows them to live their life to the full.
“It often means not having to receive more traditional forms of support, such as living in residential care.
“They are welcomed into the homes and lives of dedicated, committed carers and made to feel part of a real family.
“It enables them to live much more independent lives, which increases their self esteem and allows people to learn skills and take part in activities and even employment – things that many of us take for granted.
“For many, it turns their life around.
“They feel valued, safe and cared for.”
To find out more call the Shared Lives team on 01484 226520.