Hi, my name is Jon and I wanted to talk about my time being supported by Sarah in Shared Lives.
I used to live in Guildford where I was homeless and became addicted to drugs. After being in some supported service my experience of them had not been very good, I had my washing stolen on a regular basis and when I told the staff they didn’t seem interested.
I would often be living in less than ideal conditions. I chose to move down to Brighton and I had a really good social worker who put me in touch with Russ the manager of Shared Lives. I was so unhappy I remember calling him all the time to see what he could do to help me. After a time I met Sarah my Shared Lives carer with my Mum. I remember my head looking down to the floor and not wanting to look at anybody, with my hood over my head.
I had a few meetings to get to know Sarah and Russ and to find out what Shared Lives was about; I then couldn’t wait to move in and start my new life. Things didn’t always go to plan when I moved, I had some ups and downs but the Shared Lives team and Sarah worked with me. Sarah has always been real with me and non-judgemental as I had a lot going on.
“There are still things I want to do…my plan is to move on to my own place when the time is right.”
After settling in and a few twists and turns I can say it’s been a privilege to be supported by Sarah, she’s on hand to help me with the day to day and the difficult. I have made friends and often go out with Stevie to the café or pub. I have been on holiday a few times with another friend and his Mum to Spain. Sarah has helped me to take care of my well being and even got me to the dentist which, after an operation, has got my confidence back as my teeth where really bad and I now have a new smile.
There are still things I want to do. I’m not going to be with Sarah forever as my plan is to move on to my own place when the time is right. I really am glad I met Sarah and our crew and I can’t believe how far I have come.
Find out more about Grace Eyre’s Shared Lives scheme where carers provide services to people with learning disabilities and/or mental health needs and older people in the carer’s home.