Leeds Shared Lives: Scheme appeals for more carers

An organisation that provides respite breaks for people in Leeds who care for frail of disabled relatives needs more carers.

The Leeds Shared Lives scheme has for more than 30 years helped people who take on the often emotionally and physically draining care of a loved one.

It is estimated that unpaid carers save the economy 87bn a year.

Leeds City Council is using National Carers Week to highlight the vital work of Shared Lives.

Coun Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member responsible for adult social care, said: "The Leeds Shared Lives scheme, or Family Placement service as it was previously known, was one of the first of its type in the country and has developed over the last 33 years to meet the changing needs of communities in Leeds.

"We have many wonderful carers making a huge difference to

the lives of people needing care and their families, and I would like to thank them for everything they do, and urge anyone who is interested in becoming a carer to get in touch. It truly is a very rewarding role."

Viv Wortham, who has been a short breaks carer for 13 years and recently gave up her job to work full-time for Leeds Shared Lives, said: "As carers, we do indeed share lives with the people we care for and their families. Indeed many of the people who come to stay at my house consider us as their second family and invite us to their family events.

"Over the years I increased the number of people who came to stay because we felt valued by the families who needed the respite, and we really enjoyed spending our lives with the people who came to stay."

Anyone interested in becoming a carer or who would like more information can call Leeds Shared Lives on 2243503 or email sharedlives@leeds.gov.uk.

(from left) Nick Butler, Jane Butler, Sir Anthony Milnes-Coates, Tricia Stewart, James Naylor, Lady Harriet Milnes-Coates, Joey Clover at the Two Ridings Community Foundation Annual Charity Ball

Business diary: ‘Calendar Girl’ provides boost for community foundation