Charity supporting vulnerable adults in Lincolnshire calls for more volunteers like Skegness couple

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A charity supporting vulnerable adults in Lincolnshire has spoken of the difference a Skegness couple makes to its work, as it aims to do more good in the area.

Adults Supporting Adults (ASA) is looking to recruit new carers like Barrie and Sheila Ashton, to develop its Shared Lives service along the coast.

Shared Lives – a national initiative – sees a vulnerable adult matched to a family, to share their home with them either on a long-term or respite basis.

Through a family environment, the person is then supported to develop the skills needed to become more independent and build their own networks in the area.

It enables the person accessing the service to live a better, healthier and less isolated life.

Carers are paid according to the level of support provided.

ASA operations manager Dean Barnshaw said: “Given the cuts to the local adult social care budget, the tailored support provided within Shared Lives proves it is a viable alternative to residential, nursing and hospital care.

“Across the country, Shared Lives is expanding considerably and there are approximately 10,000 people now living or accessing such arrangements.

“The support that Barrie and Sheila provide shows that given the opportunity, people can achieve better outcomes when living in the community.”

Barrie, 56, and Sheila, 61, have helped 20 people during the last 14 years, after first undergoing training and assessment.

Sheila found it rewarding to be involved in the service. She said: “Maintaining the person’s dignity, and enabling them to do as much as they can for themselves, is one of the biggest skills we have learnt.”

For more on ASA, including how to help out, call 01529 416270 or visit www.asaorg.co.uk.