Surrey Choices Shared Lives Team and Carers win national Shared Living Awards for going the extra mile

12 Nov, 2021
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: The Shared Lives team at Surrey Choices was today awarded the 2021 pandemic lifeline award for resilient service. In addition, Shared Lives Carers, Francesco and Reeaz, won Outstanding Shared Lives Carer of the year.


This year the UK Shared Lives membership charity introduced a special 2021 pandemic lifeline award for resilient service. It reflects the extraordinary circumstances of the recent past and recognises how Surrey Choices found new ways to deliver services and kept support going during the pandemic.


Despite the necessity for remote working, the Surrey Choices’ Shared Lives team was able to pull together. Switching into a highly responsive emergency service, they offered everything from PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) delivery to an advice line to help Carers better respond to the crisis. To keep up the spirits of Carers and the people they, and Surrey Choices were supporting, the team also held online social sessions. These even included group supper clubs in the evenings. The team continued to innovate by moving training and Carer panel visits online, as well as introducing video submissions for new Carers and customer-led panels to approve new Carers.

Speaking after the award ceremony, Donna Willson, the Registered Manager for Shared Lives at Surrey Choices exclaimed, “I was completely shocked and surprised, but of course absolutely delighted. The team was absolutely amazing through the pandemic, so this award is well deserved.”

The Outstanding Shared Lives carer of the year award went to Shared Lives Carers, Francesco and Reeaz, for improving outcomes and community connections for Robert, who they support. They involve him in all areas of their family life. Together they often spend time enjoying different activities, which has had a significant impact on Robert’s independence, health, wellbeing, and overall confidence.


On hearing the news of the award Francesco said: "I was a bit speechless and didn't know how to react. But it gave me a good feeling, being recognised for doing a good job."


The Shared Living Awards Ceremony was held at the end of the Shared Lives Plus online conference and national learning event for people involved in Shared Lives and Homeshare. However, that did not stop everyone celebrating their success.

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