Sharon and Martin Gallagher are Shared Lives carers who live in Wath in Rotherham. Martin works for Oaks Day Centre and Sharon works for a merchandising company.
The Gallaghers first heard about Shared Lives through a colleague at work. They applied to become day time support carers in the autumn of 2012. The application said they would be willing to look at respite care later if it worked for all parties.
Sharon and Martin were approved as Shared Lives carers at the beginning of 2013. They secured their first placement in January 2013.
The Gallaghers say, "Shared Lives works for us and - we believe - for our clients. Socially, things are very good for them all. We have a busy schedule with a mix of respite and day time support. Our daughter has also embraced the programme, as have her peers. Our immediate family have also fully supported us."
Hilda lives in Wath with her brother. Sharon supports Hilda for four hours on a Saturday and takes her for lunch, haircuts and shopping. Hilda is always happy and is always smiling.
Sam has five nights respite every month with the Gallaghers. He lives with a long term Shared Lives carer in Aston. Sam enjoys baking, playing the keyboard and visiting car boot sales.
The Gallagher’s also support Michael. Michael has three nights respite with them every month and five hours of day time support each week. Michael enjoys watching Coronation Street, going to the pub and socialising with the family.