Recruitment drive seeks to find the caring side of Moray

Carer Christine Coubrough with Pat Gaffney, whom she visits weekly at her home in Hopeman
Carer Christine Coubrough with Pat Gaffney, whom she visits weekly at her home in Hopeman

A SERVICE THAT supports people aged 16 and over with their social care needs they need to live a full and active life is seeking to recruit new carers.

The Shared Lives service currently consists of a small team supporting 36 people in Moray – but more carers are urgently required.

Moray Council has organised a recruitment drive later this month that, while focussing on Buckie and Keith, acknowledges that there is a demand for placements throughout the region and in particular in Speyside.

No formal qualifications are required to become a Share Lives carer, with spokeswoman Diane Mcleary saying: “When we asked people who use the service what qualities in a Shared Lives carer were important to them, they told us it was things like patience and understanding, enthusiasm and being able to motivate, a sense of humour and flexibility.

“Some have had careers in nursing or have spent time caring for a family member but experience is not essential either. What is vital is a passion for making a positive difference in people’s lives.”

The community care service works by matching a person identified by social workers as requiring support with a Shared Lives carer in their community. Carers offer individualised daytime care and support in a homely setting to no more than two people at a time – or overnight and longer stay so the families of service users can take a break from their caring role.

Current service users range in age from 17 all the way up to 91, they work with their carer on skills for independent living as well as opportunities for socialising and pursuing their interests such as arts and crafts, enjoying nature and reminiscing.

Burghead-based carer Christine Coubrough began working as a Shared Lives carer in January this year. She said: “It is rewarding in so many ways to the point of enhancing my own life.

“The best thing for me is the satisfaction I feel when I have supported someone to make the most of their life doing things that make them happy.

“The ongoing support from the Shared Lives service where they match carers to service users to ensure the best results is why this is such an excellent service.”

There is a robust application process to be followed to appoint Shared Lives carers while the assessment, selection and approval process takes three to five months to complete. Training and support is ongoing and the carers themselves get together regularly.

More information on joining the team is available on the Moray Council website or from the Moray Shared Lives team on 01343 563450 or by email.