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Caring and sharing is the daily routine
A MAN who shares his home and life with vulnerable adults has spoken of the joy it brings to his household.
Bob Pettit, 61, is one of 90 shared lives carers in Oxfordshire, and has offered adults with physical or learning difficulties a roof over their heads for a decade.
Now, to coincide with “shared lives week”, the father-of-two has shared his story in a bid to encourage other home carers to come forward.
Mr Pettit lives with his wife Sam, 40, her three-year-old daughter Ella, and two vulnerable people he cares for at his home in Bicester.
He said: “I’ve been in it for 10 years since it was called adult family placement.
“I felt I had something to offer, I had a house, two kids and wanted a home-based job.
“We offer them stability, hopefully a sense of home and somewhere warm and safe to live.”
He said the length of time people stayed depended on their needs.
Some stay for a few weeks to give families or regular carers a break, and otherfor a lot longer.
Mr Pettit said: “Sometimes it’s respite care, somewhere to re-group, but then again one chap came to us eight years ago for respite and is still with us.
“We have two full-timers, and another one on the way, and they all get on well and get on with my son and daughter. There’s always something going on in the house.
“Last year we all went to Florida together.”
The Pettit family currently has two people living with them, Adam, 24, David, 40, and a third lodger, Glyn, is due to move in soon.
David said: “I’ve lived with Bob for 10 years and we have been doing all sorts of things together. It’s been a great experience for me.
“Living with Bob has given me an awful lot to look forward to, it’s been really good. It’s given me a lot of confidence.”
County councillor Arash Fatemian, cabinet member for adult services, said: “There’s some great work being done, and some excellent friendships formed, through Shared Lives.
“There are adults in Oxfordshire who need care and support but they either do not want or need high levels of residential care. In many cases, a member of their family or a close friend provides what is needed. But sometimes this is not possible.
“Shared Lives carers come from every walk of life. Some join with considerable experience of providing support, others have no experience at all, but have the right qualities and approach.”
Carers must pass an assessment process and enhanced CRB check and in return for their services, they receive between £300 and £400 per week, depending on the needs of their service users.
* To find out more, call 01865 897971, email email@example.com or visit oxfordshire.gov.uk/sharedlives