A local charity is urging people to come forward and sign up to become a carer in a unique setting- your own home.

Shared Lives South West, which has been established for almost 20 years, is looking for more carers in Exeter, Exmouth and the surrounding area to open their own home to support an adult with additional needs due to a growing number of people needing the service.

Over the years, the carer role which is like fostering, has supported thousands of people to maintain or grow their independence and ultimately live their best life. People supported include those with a learning disability, mental health problems, autism and ageing care needs.

SLSW Carers get to work from home, can be paid up to £536 per week (per adult they support. Remuneration varies depending on support need) and they have the support of the charity’s staff team every step of the way.

Carers needs transferrable skills and a spare room to be considered for the role. Once they have applied they go thorough assessment process and are approved by an independent approval panel, before being matched with someone to support.

The carer and person supported both have to agree to the match before they move in and person-centred care is what the charity prides itself on.

Once matched, people can stay for a short break or can live with the carer long-term. SLSW Carer Lisa Dougal supports Charlene in her own home in Exmouth and the support has seen her mental health improve.

Lisa, a carer in Exmouth said: “I became a SLSW Carer as I’ve got so much to give, I love the drive of it and seeing the person thriving and doing well.

"I would say it’s a good experience and you learn so much to get more independent. My mental health has improved and I haven’t been to hospital for four years. I do dip but Lisa helps me out a lot and tells me not to worry and sends positive quotes on my phone. “I’m proud of how far I’ve come and how much more motivated I am.”

Dominic Spayne, CEO of SLSW, said: “We are getting referrals, but can struggle to match them with a carer in the area as we simply need more. “It’s such a rewarding role being a carer and there are big benefits. You can work from home, there are tax breaks and most importantly you will be making a real difference to someone’s life. “We have had carers apply from all walks of life including former teachers, health professionals, retired police officers and army officers to parents whose children have moved out and now have a spare room and want to do something rewarding.”

Find out more at: www.sharedlivessw.org.uk