Chris and Jo are both carers for Bury Shared Lives and enjoy the fact that it's never boring; there's always something new!
Chris was introduced to a charity providing 'practical help for those in need' at school, which led to him work in caring for older people as well as catering and providing personal care in a local convent hospice. 'My friends and I would entertain the residents which led to us organising pantomimes at Christmas, great times!', he reminisces.
After leaving school, Chris volunteered for youth groups and clubs and helped at the British Rheumatoid Arthritis Society as well as going to art college. When he finished at college, he started visiting daycare centres voluntarily, giving people the opportunity to enjoy drawing and painting on a weekly basis, and says 'I learnt more about art during these sessions than I did at college.'
Jo started working with Manchester social services as a residential care worker in 1990 and just two years later the couple had trained and certified as adult placement workers by Manchester and Bury.
'Making someone's life a little easier and more enjoyable is our aim. To support them in the community, keep them safe, help them develop life skills and make new friends. Some of the people we have helped are now living independently, even married! You can make a difference to somebody's life, give them a sense of belonging.'