Shared Lives supporting long-term relationships
Gloria’s* been a Shared Lives carer in Lincolnshire for 30 years. In 1984, her parents were considering retiring as foster carers after caring for over 200 children during their career. When a social worker approached them asking if they could take an emergency placement of two young boys, they simply couldn’t say no. This changed Gloria’s life forever. The youngest boy, Chris, who was just 7-years-old, developed such a close bond to her family; he called her parents ‘mum’ and ‘dad’ and Gloria and her siblings called Chris their brother. When Chis became an adult, Gloria’s parents decided to keep on supporting him by becoming Shared Lives carers. Even when Gloria had moved out and had her own son in 1997, she saw Chris every single day.
In 1998, Gloria’s parents decided to open up their home to another woman who needed full-time support. Bev had lost both her parents recently and needed lots of support to feel happy again. A couple of years later, Gloria’s mum sadly had a stroke and her dad decided that he needed to retire as a carer. Chris and Bev were devastated by this news and were determined to stay living with their Shared Lives family who they loved so much. Gloria made the decision to become a Shared Lives carer to continue supporting them in her own home.
In 2010, after living together for 14 years, Bev and Chris fell in love. Gloria and her family have always supported their relationship and empowered them to be happy together. Chris proposed to Bev in 2010 and they’ve been enjoying a long engagement ever since. They’re so excited about what their future together holds. What an incredible story of two generations of Shared Lives support which continues to grow and blossom just like the people being supported.