READING Council's Shared Lives team is hosting two carer recruitment events.

Shared Lives provides support to vulnerable adults within an approved carer's own family home.

Reading has been supporting people with a learning disability for nearly 30 years, but the team is now looking to extend the scheme and recruit more local carers for older people.

There are options for full-time carers (where the person lives with the carer and is included as a member of the family), respite carers (who give full-time carers a break) and day carers, who support the person to take part in regular activities.

Shared Lives can offer care to older people leaving hospital and needing a temporary place to stay while they recover, or it can enable older people who need some extra help to remain living independently in a family home and community as an alternative to residential care.

Shared Lives Carers receive an allowance, and the person they care for pays rent and other expenses.

Carers can continue to work and are offered training and support at every stage from the Shared Lives team.

One keen champion of Shared Lives is Lorna Godwin, who was one of the very first people to join the Shared Lives Scheme at Reading when it launched in the early 1990s.

She has been caring for Lizzy, who has moderate learning difficulties, since she joined the scheme

Lorna has also offered respite and day care over the years and now cares full time for Lizzy and two other women, as well as offering additional respite.

Lorna said: "I really do have the best job in the world!

"When you help someone to gradually gain their independence, such as buying a drink in a café for the first time, putting on some washing or using their own door key, and you see how much they grow in confidence in those little achievements - which is life changing for them - that is worth a million dollars in my book."

Cllr Tony Jones, Reading’s lead member for adult social care, said: "We urgently need more local carers in Reading and we are especially hoping to recruit carers for older people.

"We are now asking people ‘Do you have a room to spare and time to care?’

"The Shared Lives scheme makes such a huge difference to the lives of so many people.

"Lorna’s story is a fantastic example of where a carer has helped transform and enriched the lives of three people by enabling them to become part of a welcoming and supportive family.

"I encourage people who would like to find out more about how to become a Shared Lives carer to get in touch."

The information sessions will be held at the council offices on Wednesday, March 20 from 5.30pm - 7pm in the Council Chamber and on Monday April 1 from 5.30pm - 7pm in the Mayor's Parlour.

To find out more, visit – people can express interest using the online form, call 0118 9373700 or email