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PSS Shared Lives carers make Channel 4 appearance

The power of word of mouth is a force that can propel movements, ideas, and even organisations like PSS to unexpected heights.

At least that was the case for PSS in November. It all began with a chance encounter at a charity event, where someone PSS supports took the opportunity to share the huge impact that Shared Lives had had on them with none other than the host of Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch, Steph McGovern.

Within a week PSS Shared Lives was sitting down with Steph to talk all about the adult social care scheme that hasn’t just changed their lives, it’s changing the lives of nearly 20,000 supported people and Shared Lives carers every year (source: Shared Lives Plus).


A freeze frame of pss' appearance on Steph's Packed Lunch. Steph sits on a coach to the left and the family sit on the right with a coffee table in between them and Steph. At the bottom of the screen reads a headline: adult fostering scheme changing lives

Steph McGovern (left) with Shared Lives carers Craig and Beth and the people they support, Chelsea and Mark

The live broadcast also featured our fantastic CEO Lesley Dixon. Joining her were Shared Lives carers Craig and Beth, along with the people they support, Chelsea and Mark. They chatted about Craig’s transition from working in banking to following in his mum’s footsteps as a carer, while Beth spoke about how she balances her job as a primary school teacher with her caregiving role.

Beth said: ‘Once you’re in the caregiving role, you realise there’s so many things that overlap with teaching. It’s been nice adding to our family. We had the spare room in our home, and we had the time to give to other people so Mark and Chelsea joined us. Chelsea giggles all the time, it’s infectious! And when I get home from a long day of teaching Mark is one of the most thoughtful people’.

A Shared Lives famil shot - this time Beth is holding her and Craig's baby, Anthony, and the family are stood laughing in their kitchen

Shared Lives family, Beth (left, with baby Anthony), mark, Chelsea and Craig in their kitchen.

Craig, who also works part-time as a development worker for PSS spoke about PSS’s unique matching platform that helps you find the right person looking for support.

Craig said: ‘We have a website called Matching Lives – every carer is on there and they answer a series of questions about themselves. People like Mark and Chelsea will answer the same questions and Matching Lives will match you to your ideal person.’

Steph wanted to know more from CEO, Lesley, about how it’s possible to make a career out of being a Shared Lives carer. Lesley said: ‘Shared Lives carers are paid, and they payment depends on the needs of the person and the number of people that you have living with you. If you’ve got the space you can have up to three people living with you. You won’t be able to retire in the Caribbean based on those payments but it can enable people to make different choices – for example, if you already have caring responsibilities, it can be a great way to work at home’.


Where can you find your local Shared Lives scheme?

PSS has schemes across Merseyside, Greater Manchester, the Midlands, North Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. If you’re based in any of those areas, get in touch with us today by the form at the bottom of our home page. If you live elsewhere you can visit The Shared Lives Plus website to find your local scheme.


Above everything else, we think this little journey from one conversation to a television spotlight shows the potential our words hold. We hope this gives you the confidence to tell more people about the things that matter most to you.