Shared Lives & Personal Assistant Careers
Milton Keynes Council is developing new ways to support adults with Learning Disabilities, Autism, Mental Health issues and Older People in MK. We are seeking Shared Lives Carers and Personal Assistants, and have spoken with one of each to find out more about the roles:
Alison Bentley certainly knows a thing or two about working with people with learning difficulties, having spent her entire career in the sector.
So when she says that her new role as a Shared Lives carer through Milton Keynes Council is one of her most rewarding positions yet, it is well worth listening.
Alison, a director of Phoenix Rising MK, is vastly experienced in the sector but the beauty of Shared Lives is that anyone can join MK Council’s register of approved self-employed carers after a 3-month assessment process.
Alison, pictured with Chloe, who currently stays with her once a month, said: “It’s extremely rewarding and I think people who go into Shared Lives will find this straight away. It’s flexible too so it can fit in around your own lifestyle.
“You don’t need any qualifications to become a carer as all the training is provided when you start – all you need is an open mind.
“Then just relax and enjoy the journey, because it’s a great journey!”
Alison revealed how much fun she has with Chloe. “I love what I do,” she said.
“Chloe has autism and has never stayed away from home before, so we started with lots of tea visits and now she stays overnight with us, which gives mum a breather.
“We’ve got two dogs so it’s lovely to see Chloe interacting with them, and we like to watch films together too. It’s about being a family.”
Milton Keynes mum Osayi Asemota enjoys a fun-filled Saturday morning every two weeks thanks to her job as a part-time Personal Assistant to a disabled lady.
Osayi is a full-time Community Access Worker for Milton Keynes Council but additionally works as a PA at weekends and she says her lifestyle is fantastic.
“I do three hours as a PA on alternate Saturdays while my daughter is at dance class, so it slots right into my life,” she explained.
“The lady that I work for receives direct payments that she can use to buy services or carers to enable her to access the community, so she has employed me as a part-time Personal Assistant.
“We go out and do whatever she wants to do, which includes things like shopping, swimming, horse riding, bowling, going to Thrift Farm for breakfast, meeting her friends for lunch and watching shows.
“I enjoy it because there’s lots of freedom and you’re enriching someone’s life by enabling them to get out there and be a part of their community. It’s lovely.”
Please read more information if you think you might be interested in working in these roles:
- Why choose to become a Shared Lives carer or Personal Assistant?
- Who Can be a Shared Lives Carer or Personal Assistant?
- More about Shared Lives
- More about Personal Assistants
- How to apply
- It offers an alternative to working for a care agency.
- It’s rewarding for both the adult with support needs and the carer / PA.
- You will be working with the same person on a regular basis
- You can give as much of your time as you like
- The work can fit well around other responsibilities you may have
- You will be paid for your time
Almost anybody can become a Shared Lives carer or Personal Assistant, it is all about finding the person you fit best with. The most important things are being a good communicator, an interest in others and having the ability to respond to the needs of those around you.
Some people work as a Shared Lives carer or Personal Assistant in addition to other employment.
Shared Lives schemes match an adult who has care and support needs with an approved Shared Lives Carer. The emphasis is on sharing your home, family and community life taking part in things you both enjoy. Alongside social and recreational activities you may also help the person you are caring for with washing and dressing (personal care) and preparing food. This can be for a day, a short breaks or a long term placement. Sometimes people use a Shared Lives scheme as a way of learning the skills they need to live independently, and to help them put down roots in their area or community before moving into a place of their own.
Shared Lives MK is responsible for recruiting, vetting, training and supporting Shared Lives carers. We carefully match people so we hope that you will enjoy each other’s company. We will work with you to find a placement which works for you both and be on hand as you get to know each other.
A Personal Assistant, or PA, is someone who assists a person who has care or support needs in their own home and local community. As a PA, you will help the person you assist to live their life as they want to. People choosing a Personal Assistant tend to look for someone with similar interests to themselves so they can be supported to engage in activities they and you can enjoy together.
Most PAs are directly recruited and employed by the person that they are assisting although some PAs work on a self-employed basis.
If you think this type of work might be for you then you can apply to join the Milton Keynes Council Personal Assistants (PA) Register.
- We will help you to access training and complete a Disclosure and Barring Service application.
- There will be advice and guidance available for you to ensure your profile is clear and up to date.
- Once your profile has been agreed and posted on the website potential employers will be able to see your profile and this can boost your chances of getting the type of work you want.
Last Updated: 20 March 2020