Last week I visited Adult Placement (AKA Shared Lives) in West Wales, where I had the honour of (virtually) opening http://westwaps.org.uk Cutting the virtual ribbon turned out to be a slight technical (and perhaps existential) challenge, but the site is now up and running and is a great model for other Shared Lives schemes who want to put their Shared Lives carers in real control. WestWAPS.org.uk has been set up as an independent social enterprise, with support from the council-run West Wales Adult Placement Scheme and
Carmarthenshire Adult Placement Service and aims to provide information, a place to share learning and in time, a training service. It is being established at the same time as a democratically elected consultation forum for the area.
We are acutely aware that NAAPS is an organisation whose members are 90%+ individual Shared Lives carers, but in which those individuals haven’t always had enough of a voice. There are, though, lots of local Shared Lives groups, not all as democratic and organised as the one in West Wales, and we are keen to help them link up with each other. Lots of Shared Lives carers of course don’t use email or the internet, which is partly why our printed newsletter is now entirely focused on carers, but we are currently trying to find an email user in each local group so that they can contact each other. If that could be you, please drop us a line!
If you are a Shared Lives carer who is a member of NAAPS, you can join our email group to talk with other carers by emailing Jackie@naaps.org.uk