Innovative Service For Young People With Learning Disabilities

A local charity, The Grace Eyre Foundation, is excited to be bringing a new service for young people with learning disabilities to West Sussex. 

The Shared Lives 16+ project is aimed at young people, aged 16 and 17, who are leaving formal care and supporting them as they transition into adulthood.  A Shared Lives carer is someone who opens up their home and life to include someone who needs support, for example, a person with a learning disability or a mental health problem. 

Over the next two years Grace Eyre will be recruiting and developing Shared Lives carers to work with young people and to place them in Shared Lives arrangements across West Sussex, giving them the chance to have a supportive, caring home in their local community.

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There are over 8000 Shared Lives carers in the UK, and they can have people living with them on a long term basis or for short breaks. Shared Lives Carers come from all walks of life and don’t need qualifications or experience, just the right attitude and a willingness to share their lives with a young person. Grace Eyre will provide comprehensive training and support, enabling them to become specialist carers for young people.

Nik Roberts, Manager of Grace Eyre’s new scheme says, “The new 16+ project gives Grace Eyre the opportunity to take our successful Shared Lives model of supporting people and extend it to young people going through the transition from childhood to adulthood. We will be taking what we do best – providing meaningful, person-centred support – and using it to help young people build better lives for themselves.”

Grace Eyre has much expertise and experience in this area, having acted as the county’s agency for this ‘placement’ scheme back in 1988, and now running similar schemes for adults in Brighton & Hove, across West Sussex, Lambeth, Borough and Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea and the City of Westminster.

The Grace Eyre Foundation has been supporting people with learning disabilities since 1898. More information can be found at grace-eyre.org

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