Sometimes it feels lonely, as when I lived in Shared Lives with a family there was always someone around, so it's different. It took some time to sort out but I feel more independent having my own home. I never had to think about basic things like organising gas and electricity when I lived with a family. I haven't enjoyed it as much as I thought I would yet, but I hope I'll get used to it soon. I miss living with a family as there were more people around, but I do get my own space and can organise my own time and what I do.
The worst thing about having my own home is getting used to spending time on my own, especially if my support is cancelled at the last minute when I know I could have made other plans.
The best thing is having more independence and choice of what I do, I now choose to walk to local places more instead of getting a lift which gives me more time with the support worker and good exercise for me.
Before I moved in with a Shared Lives family I lived on my own with support, but I didn’t always have support when I needed it most.
My life without Shared Lives would not be as good as it is now. Since becoming a part of it in 2018 I have become more independent, travelling around the area on my own, I started working and I got healthier. The skills I have gained whilst living with a family have helped me now I am living on my own; the timetable that I followed and activities I joined have remained an important part of my week, such as volunteering at the food bank, assisting in a workshop and studying. (I started studying some time ago and when I achieved a section of my studying, my Shared Lives family put on a celebration party for me.)
While I've been with Shared Lives I got the chance to join committees such as Patient Voices Matter with the NHS and Persona Your Voice. I am also part of the Shared Lives committee.
I am happy that I can still be part of Shared Lives and go for supper visits at families' houses during the week. I am hoping to settle more into my own home in time, as I am sure this is the best solution for me.