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shared lives

shared lives

What is Shared Lives?

Shared Lives offers people who need support to live their lives a very personal alternative to home or residential care. Shared Lives services are delivered by Shared Lives Schemes who are registered and regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) or other care regulator. There are over 150 Shared Lives Schemes across the UK and between them they recruit, train, assess and support  over 8,000 Shared Lives Carers. Shared Lives Carers share their home, family and community life with people who are matched with them. Shared Lives is unique and can offer fantastic outcomes to people – matching for compatibility; enabling the development of true friendships; including people in family life and building a sense of belonging in the very heart of local community. Shared Lives empowers people to live life their own way and to develop their independence and skills in the most imaginative and creative ways.

What we offer

Shared Lives delivers great outcomes for people but also significant savings for the local authority. Many areas are keen to grow their Shared Lives service but can find it difficult to know where to start. Our expertise – built upon over many years of experience in delivering Shared Lives – allows us to offer local authorities the help they need to develop and grow effective and responsive Shared Lives services. We offer a bespoke service to support growth, development and quality, building where possible upon the strengths of the current service, highlighting blocks to development and identifying ways to overcome these. We work with everybody involved in Shared Lives, commissioners, staff, carers and people supported by the service to deliver the best outcomes for the individuals involved and the Local Authority. We help to promote the productivity and efficiency of the service, with the aim of ensuring best value for the funder.

Many independent care providers are looking for ways to diversify and develop what they offer. Funding cuts have had a devastating impact on more traditional provision such as supported living, with increasing limitations on how ‘support hours’ are used and few opportunities for people to learn, contribute and have fun. The Shared Lives model allows people to have good lives, connecting and contributing to their community, at an affordable cost for commissioners. Community Catalysts can work with care providers to help them establish a Shared Lives service from scratch or to review current services to enable development. Our national overview allows us to advise on markets and marketing as well as skilling us to support provider organisations through tender processes for new work.

For local authorities and care providers interested in accessing social investment to fund the infrastructure needed to grow a Shared Lives service, Community Catalysts (with partners, Shared Lives Plus, Social Finance and MacIntyre) has launched a Shared Lives Incubator. This combines the expertise of Community Catalysts to support the development and growth of Shared Lives, with social investment. This winning combination ensures that quality and high standards are maintained and the development of Shared Lives is supported in a sustainable way.

Community Catalysts believes passionately in personalisation and in putting people in control of the care and support they receive to enable them to live full lives. This passion underpins our work to nurture and develop Shared Lives.



“Helen Allen facilitated a very successful workshop to bring together  two groups of staff to look at partnership work. She brought a great mix of energy, expertise, knowledge and humour which made the day productive, as well as focussed and fun: Helen connected with all the staff who felt fully engaged and involved in the process”    Helen Sutcliffe Leeds Shared Lives Scheme Manager