Kimberley lives with Patricia, her Shared Lives Carer. With the support of the Shared Lives team, her new family, Kim has turned her life around. You can read her honest and heart-warming interview alongside Patricia below.
Shared Lives offers a personalised service planned around the needs and interests of a person, by providing them with short or long-term support.
Kimberley, tell us what life was like before Shared Lives and before living with Patricia?
Life before coming to Shared Lives and Patricia was not good. I struggled with handling my emotions. I had behavioural problems and I wasn’t surrounding myself around a good group of people. I didn’t feel understood by the people around me, and I had feelings on loneliness. I was not In a good place.
Patricia, tell us about the first time meeting Kimberley?
When I met Kimberley in her Supported Living accommodation, I was immediately drawn to her. I thought let’s give it a go, a change of environment could make a difference.
At first her behaviour was challenging, but as a Mental Health Nurse. I started to work with her from that approach. Trying to figure out why she does things and try to support her from there.
Kimberley and I started to take a reflective approach to look back at our actions. Kimberley started therapy with someone called Lucy, and together with myself and her Shared Lives Scheme Worker Nicola, we were able to get to the roots of the problems. Once we did this we were able to start working on them.
Things started to shift with Kimberley, the right support was in place. I have such supportive family which has helped! I share my life and family life with Kimberley. My daughters are of a similar age to her and it’s such a great fit!
Kimberley, how has Shared Lives and Patricia impacted your life?
Working with Patricia and Nicola has made be grow up a lot! Now I have my sisters, I call Patricia Mumma and her Husband Papa, they are my family at the end of the day.
They support so much, without my family I don’t know where I would have been. I go to college now; and I have just finished my first English course.
I’m trying to do the best I can. I don’t hurt myself or get those feelings. If I feel a certain way, I talk to my family around me. I talk to my sisters now and do what sisters do which is great.
I have found my confidence now which is great. I feel ready to start relationships now, I was never in that frame of mind before.
Patricia, can you describe what it is like seeing Kimberley from when you first met her to where she is now?
Kimberley’s has grown a lot to be in the place where she is at now. She talks about how she is feeling and is open and honest, we can relax a lot more with trust.
I feel like her biggest problem she had before was not belonging anywhere. Now, she feels like she belongs and it is so important in Shared Lives to feel like that and a part of their family!
To find out more about our Shared Lives Scheme please click here
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