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This week is Shared Lives Week - and to mark the event, read how Kerry and Damien, who both live in Shared Lives placements, have kept their incredible friendship going throughout lockdown.
Relationships and human contact are so important to all of us, so how do we ensure the people we support make and maintain these relationships through such difficult times?
COVID-19 has proven a challenge to all of us, having to change habits of a lifetime and losing those all-important contacts that are so important to us.
Here at Shared Lives we have been able with the help of our Shared Lives carers, to break the isolation and support people with learning disabilities to keep in touch with family and friends.
Kerry and Damien both live in Shared Lives' placements with different carers. They have a very close relationship and although they don’t live together it's extremely important to both they continue to enjoy each other’s company and spend time together.
Lockdown, and the restrictions in place, has thrown a challenge to both carers to support them maintaining that relationship. Using Facetime and Zoom they have been able to enjoy catching up with each other and being able to share conversations, albeit at a distance, this has been so important to both of them.
More recently with the opportunities of being able to meet in groups of six or fewer, the carers have supported Kerry and Damien to have social distance get-togethers, these have been walks and spending time in each other’s gardens.
The carers have been so inventive to bring some excitement and joy to both Kerry and Damien, organising bingo nights and fancy-dress discos over Zoom so both can enjoy some fun together and as families.
Kerry and Damien also decided to make cards and write letters to each other and on their walks have been posting them, both thoroughly enjoying receiving their post.
Shared Lives really is about supporting each other, giving the individuals we support the opportunity to live with families who will support and nurture the opportunities to make and maintain real relationships.
Kerry and Damien love sharing their life together on Shared Lives' Facebook and Twitter pages. If you would like to know more about our scheme and see more stories and photos please take a look at our website and Social media pages.