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Chief Executive Officer Shared Lives Plus

Our lives get better when they’re shared. Lead this pioneering membership charity as we embark on our next strategic phase and continue to build communities.

  • Location: Liverpool or home based with national travel
  • Salary: £82K + benefits
  • Closing date: 9 a.m. Monday 30th May 2022

Shared Lives Plus promotes supportive shared living through Shared Lives care, Homeshare and Family by Family, with local and national governments. We believe everyone should be able to choose who they spend time with – and do what matters to them. We want to reduce loneliness and help make our communities more connected.

Our members are 10,000 Shared Lives carers, 150 Shared Lives schemes and a growing network of over 20 local Homeshare organisations. We offer guidance, best practice, a community of people sharing their lives, legal advice and insurance.

Our work spans the four corners of the UK and our approach is pioneering new ways of living together safely. Our mission is to build communities where everyone lives a full life, regardless of the support they need; our research shows when we do this we experience improved health and wellbeing and it places fewer demands on the health and social care system.

As the pandemic and lockdowns multiplied the demand for shared lives and social interaction grew and bore witness to the resilience and the flexibility of the Shared Lives model.

As our next Chief Executive you have a wonderful opportunity to build on our impact to date. You’ll be working alongside our dedicated staff and members to continue to evolve our innovative work and promote the value, quality and impact of Shared Lives.

You will join us at a time when we want to consolidate, refocus and amplify the benefits of supportive shared living. Priorities will be to diversify our funding model and build financial sustainability, and form a new strategy which will enable us to continue to expand the Shared Lives model and influence policy.

We are looking for a curious, purposeful and innovative individual who brings strong insight into the health and social care landscape and can engage impactfully and influentially at both a local and national level. You will be a collaborative leader, able to inspire and enable our geographically dispersed team to generate new ideas and reach solutions together. Furthermore your excellent communication abilities will enable you to operate with a clear and compelling voice with our stakeholders.

At home in a culture that is cheerful, pragmatic, naturally generous and creatively maverick you’ll also share our values and desire to make the world a better place.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

Lucy Mavers | lucy@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07947 935068

Philippa Fabry | philippa@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07772 902071

Lucy Mavers Head of Not-for-Profit Practice Peridot Partners

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Lucy Mavers

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Richard Jones – Chair of Trustees

Dear Candidate

Shared Lives Plus is a unique organisation: it promotes the really simple, intuitive idea that many social and practical challenges can be resolved by sharing our lives and homes together. The current health and social care system and our economic culture don’t naturally enable a person-centred way of connecting people with their communities, so we’re here to make that easier so more people can live fully and freely with support that achieves better outcomes for everyone.

Our team is full of experts in how Shared Lives and Homeshare can be delivered safely, creating guidance based on legal expertise and best practice to help our members put each person who draws on support first, and to build relationships and support around them. Shared Lives care featured in the recent social care White Paper, Secretary of State’s reform speech and is consistently rated the best quality and safest form of social care service available. Homeshare is tackling one of the UK’s most pressing challenges: loneliness and the housing crisis. We don’t rest: our appetite for change and growth has led us to international partnerships and we’re piloting the Australian family peer support model, Family by Family, as a preventive and community building offer, recently featured in the Children’s Care Independent Review.

As confidence in our expertise has grown over three decades, we’ve been successful at winning development grants to prove the diversity of people that our Shared Lives members can support. And now, more than ever, our focus is on working directly with members to build capacity and resource, to enable Shared Lives to grow and support more people with a learning disability, care leavers, people experiencing mental ill health, dementia and survivors of domestic abuse.

Our Homeshare UK team has experienced recent exponential growth as we help local organisations develop Homeshare in Norfolk, Wales and Scotland, continue to support members, deliver services ourselves in the North East and North West of England, and develop the UK’s first not for profit social franchise.

Our team are passionate, collaborative experts who value co-production, strengths-based and human rights informed work in everything they do. With our ambitious vision, our new CEO will drive forward our financial sustainability, brand profile and membership support, so that individuals and colleagues across local, national government and business can join us to build kinder and stronger communities.

We hope you will read more about the role and our organisation and consider applying for this wonderful role.

Kind regards,

Richard Jones

Chair, Shared Lives Plus

Shared Lives Plus promotes supportive shared living through Shared Lives care and Homeshare with local and national governments. We believe everyone should be able to choose who they spend time with – and do what matters to them. We want to reduce loneliness and help make our communities more connected. Our members are 6,000 Shared Lives carers, 150 Shared Lives schemes and a growing network of over 20 local Homeshare organisations. We offer guidance, best practice, a community of people sharing their lives, legal advice and insurance.

Around the UK, 10,000 Shared Lives carers open their homes and hearts to someone who needs support after hospital treatment, for mental ill health, dementia, learning disability, older age or for young people leaving care. Shared Lives care is consistently rated the best quality and safest form of care across the UK. In Homeshare someone looking for help around the home is matched with someone looking for affordable accommodation, tackling loneliness and housing issues in one solution.

We also work to diversify and establish new Shared Lives and Homeshare schemes.

Introduction to our members’ work

Our members are involved in Homeshare and Shared Lives.

In Shared Lives, a young person or adult who needs support is matched with a carefully approved Shared Lives carer, by their local Shared Lives scheme. Together, they share family and community life. Half of the 10,000 people using Shared Lives move in with their chosen Shared Lives carer to live as part of their household; half visit for day support or overnight breaks. People get safe, personal care and support, in a place which feels like home. They make friends and become more active.

There are 10,000 Shared Lives carers. All are approved following rigorous recruitment and training by one of the UK’s 130 regulated local schemes. The Care Quality Commission rates Shared Lives as better than all other forms of social care and it is on average £20,000 a year lower cost per person for people with learning disabilities and £8,000 lower for people with mental ill health.

If all areas caught up with those who use Shared Lives the most, 33,000 people would use it which would directly save £120m as well as improving outcomes for thousands of people, their families, public services and local communities. We are calling on government to invest in a major awareness raising campaign and innovation fund, to realise these gains and savings.

Homeshare brings together people with spare rooms with people who are happy to chat and lend a hand around the house in return for affordable, sociable accommodation. Together, Householders and Homesharers share home life, time, skills and experience. “Householders” are often older people who have a few support needs or have become isolated or anxious about living alone.

“Homesharers” are often younger people, students, or key public service workers who cannot afford housing where they work, but are happy to provide an agreed level of low level help or companionship. They help out but pay no or reduced rent and contribute to household bills. We support the Homeshare UK network of local programmes which support around 500 Homeshare matches benefitting 1,000 people.

Our supporters

Portrait of granddaughter and grandmother cooking brigadeiro

We are supported by the Big Lottery Fund, Nesta, DHSC, Cabinet Office, the Welsh Assembly Government, Monument Trust, Ellerman Foundation, Pears Foundation and Lloyds Bank Foundation. NHS England and seven NHS trusts have invested in scaling up Shared Lives as a new form of healthcare. Social Finance has developed a Shared Lives Incubator with £1.45m of social investment. We are helping Greater Manchester to triple its use of Shared Lives. DCMS and MCHLG funded an innovative programme to support survivors of domestic abuse.

Our aims and challenges

There is huge potential for Homeshare and Shared Lives and we want everyone to be able to access them. We are helping our members to reach many more people and new groups including parents with learning disabilities and their children, people with learning disabilities who are stuck inside medical institutions, care leavers and women fleeing domestic abuse.

We work with like-minded organisations and with people who use services and their families, to change thinking about care and health systems, so that many more areas can use and grow Homeshare and Shared Lives safely and sustainably, drawing on the untapped resources of families and communities.

Low awareness is a major challenge we need help with: most UK people could access Shared Lives and many could access Homeshare, but few know it is an option open to them locally.

Homeshare and Shared Lives stories and media coverage

The Guardian featured us in an article about shared living  as did The Times and the London Review of Books in a major article on the NHS by James Meek (author of Private Island). Channel 4 News’ Cathy Newman visited Shared Lives: film here and The Telegraph featured Shared Lives in Wales here.

For more stories and videos, please click here.

Additional Information

Staff Structure January 2022

Annual Report 2021


Our accessibility provisions include:

  • Step-free access to the building, accessible workstations (e.g. desk, office), and step-free access to all key meeting rooms and toilets.
  • Interviews can be held in meeting rooms that support hearing loops.
  • Accessibility dogs are welcomed.
  • Papers and materials can be presented in different formats if needed.
  • A sign language interpreter can be accessed for an interview.
  • Working patterns / working locations can be adjusted.
  • EDI statistics are available to be shared regarding the diversity of our workforce.

If you have any further needs around accessibility, please get in touch with the advising consultant for a confidential chat on how we can best fulfil your needs.

Further Information:

We have a workforce that has included staff which are wheelchair users, partially sighted, neurodiverse, have a learning disability and long-term health conditions. We have sourced specialist IT equipment, worked with Access to Work to gain other specialist equipment where necessary. We take feedback on the best way to work with colleagues and implement changes as necessary. We are committed to doing all that is needed to encourage a diverse workforce.

Homeshare stories

War veteran Marjory, 92, decided after one meeting to share her house with Homesharer Heather, a 26 year old nursing student. Full story in The Guardian “I’ve been to see people who were in homes and I thought, I couldn’t bear that. You’re surrounded by people you don’t really want to talk to.”

Florence and Alexandra’s Homeshare story has been watched more than 24 million times here.

Poppy and John’s story featured in The Daily Mail.

Shared Lives stories

Steve had been living with his partner, running a B&B when had a serious stroke and later two minor heart attacks. After four months in hospital, Steve was depressed, frail and his memory and cognition had deteriorated. He needed more support with daily living than his partner could provide. He was unable to return home and frightened about his future, with clinicians uncertain about further recovery.

Steve wanted to live locally, continue seeing his partner and he missed his dogs. The Shared Lives scheme matched Steve, with two trained and approved Shared Lives carers who shared his sarcastic sense of humour, had dogs, and lived close by. “They helped me through it all. When I arrived at their home, I never dreamt of being so independent again. I couldn’t walk down the drive. Now I can nip up to town”. Steve’s Shared Lives carers helped him gain strength and confidence, walking a little bit further each time, until he could walk independently. They helped him adapt to memory loss, with strategies for managing money and banking, and supported him to make meals and manage his diabetes. Steve has been able to book a foreign holiday and travel unsupported. He is optimistic about life and planning a move into his own flat.

Lisa B found out she was pregnant at 21. She was afraid that she might lose her home and that her baby would be taken away from her. Lisa – who has a mild learning disability and hearing loss – knew that only a tiny proportion of people like her ever become parents and if they do, there is a 50-50 chance that the child will be removed, shortly after the birth.

Lisa was taken away from her own family when she was 11 and put in foster care. At 21, she was living alone but couldn’t cook, use a washing machine or manage money. Lisa moved into Dawn’s modest home on a housing estate in Redruth, Cornwall. From the beginning, Dawn was by her side, just as she would have been had Lisa been her daughter. Lisa doesn’t think of Dawn as a mother, though: “She’s more like a big sister.” Thanks to that support, Lisa is now living in her own two-bedroom flat and caring for her six-month-old baby, Tia, who chortles contentedly on the blanket spread at her mother’s feet. Full story: The Guardian

Mollie and Mae featured in the government’s recent social care White Paper and mentioned by Secretary of State Sajid Javid in his health reform speech

Check out their story here.

We are delighted that the many conversations we’ve had with colleagues across the sector and with Department of Health and Social Care, mean that Shared Lives care could be ‘scaled up’ example of social care, offering “greater flexibility and more community-based care” (p46). In addition, Mollie and Mae, who were matched together by Shared Lives South West, have been featured as an example of what the future of care services could be like – their story is on the innovation pages of the White Paper’s website.

Barbara is in her 40s. She has lived in different settings with varying support and had intermittent periods as an inpatient as mainstream services struggled to support her in the community over many years. For the past two years she lived with her elderly mother who is now in a care home.

Barbara has a diagnosis of schizophrenia. She suffers from extreme anxiety and cannot manage to stay on her own overnight. Barbara moved into a long term Shared Lives arrangement three months ago. She has started participating in community groups, travelling on her own by bus to the town centre. She is hearing voices less and Barbara’s social worker states that she has never seen her so relaxed and happy. She has been away for a weekend with her Shared Lives carers and is planning a short holiday: this will be the first holiday she has ever had.

Niamh, 12, wrote about her Mum’s work as a Shared Lives carer: “The first time that I met Hilda she was a bit shy, but as she has grown to know me more she isn’t as shy. My mum takes Hilda out on a Saturday for 4 hours, we have taken her to Mexborough, Rotherham, Meadowhall, as well as going out for lunch, helping her with her shopping and getting her hair cut.  Last year we went to Cleethorpes for the day and we took Hilda with us, it was a really good day out and she really enjoyed it. Every time Hilda comes to our house she always makes me smile and laugh.

“My friends have become a big part of Shared Lives because whenever they come to my house in a morning to meet me for school and someone’s been stopping the previous night, they always say to them “hello” and “how are you?” One person who Sam especially likes is Cendal. When Sam comes to stop at our house he always asks “Is Cendal coming” or “don’t tell Cendal” if his has been up to any of his tricks like turning the television over with the remote control! – Sam is a bit of a prankster!!” 

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    Thank you for your interest in this role.

    Please download the Role Description and Person Specification and complete this Equality Monitoring Survey.

    To formally apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (ideally maximum 2 sides of A4 each) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification, including your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Shared Lives Plus – CEO” into the subject field.

    For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners

    Lucy Mavers | lucy@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07947 935068

    Philippa Fabry | philippa@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07772 902071

    We wish to encourage applications regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, age or religion or belief.

    All applications will be considered solely on merit.

    Disabled applicants are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss steps that could be taken to overcome operational difficulties presented by the job, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.

    Closing date: 9 a.m. Monday 30th May  2022

    Candidates informed of outcome: Wednesday 1st June 2022

    First Stage Interviews: Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th June 2022

    Second Stage Interviews:  Monday 20th, Tuesday 21st and Friday 24th June 2022


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