During the Queen’s recent visit to Harrow she was presented with a book of photographs of inspirational people in the borough, including Robert Ward, who has learning difficulties and is part of Harrow Council’s Shared Lives scheme. Mr Ward, who will celebrate his 50th birthday in May with a visit from his parents from New Zealand, was looking forward to the visit: “I am really excited about meeting the Queen. I have got a Union Jack tie to wear.” Mr Ward lives with Shared Lives carer Bob Gilbert, with the two sharing family and community life rather than Mr Ward living in a care home.
Bob, who is a similar age to Robert and has a care background, said: “Robert has had such a great year. Last year, his friend died and he had a big change by moving here, but now he has so much more independence. He is like one of my family and my friends are now his friends. He has done a travel training scheme so can now get the bus and walk to different places by himself and is training two days a week at a nursery, growing plants. The difference between his confidence now and what he was like last year is incredible.”
This story is from the Harrow Observer.