Shared lives weekend is hailed a hit

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A WEEKEND to celebrate and promote Aberdeenshire Council’s Shared Lives Scheme took place recently at Glenmore Lodge, Aviemore and gave people the opportunity to share ideas and experiences.

More than 60 people took part in the activity weekend organised in partnership with and sponsored by the National Association of Adult Placement Schemes (NAAPS) a UK registered charity for Shared Lives.

Kath Meiklejohn, who is a Shared Lives carer, said: “What a wonderful opportunity to bring together family carers, Shared Lives carers and people who use the service to generate ideas in discussion.

“This weekend gave me first class support and strengthened my confidence to try activities I would not normally try.

“It was a brilliant weekend and I really hope this idea is supported to further develop innovative breaks within Shared Lives.”

The Shared Lives Scheme provides flexible, personal, matched and innovative short breaks, day support and long term placements to people with a disability, including older people.

The scheme provides support to adults with disabilities in a home setting and is an excellent way to encourage independence.

The weekend away was attended by carers, people who use Shared Lives and family carers who might have a connection with the scheme, as well as people interested in becoming a carer.

Glenmore Lodge provided the setting for activities such as canoeing, climbing and archery organised and delivered by outdoor activities company Active Spirit.

Dave Padgen, 38 a paralympic sportsman and international mountaineer gave a talk on his personal achievements and life with cerebral palsy.

Nick a Shared Lives service user, said: “The weekend gave me a chance to meet new friends something I don’t do very often.”

Learning Development and Community Care Team Manager Sue Mahony said: “Part of our role in Shared Lives is to increase awareness of the varied, flexible opportunities for respite and support we can offer to carers.”