We’ve put together answers to some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Shared Lives and becoming a champion.
If you still have a question that isn’t answered after reading the FAQ’s below, please get in touch and a member of our team will be happy to help.
Do I need any previous experience or qualifications to become a Shared Lives Champion?
No, all mandatory training will be provided, we welcome applications from people who have sound values and beliefs and a willingness to support a vulnerable person and to make a difference to their lives. We can arrange for you to match up with an experienced Champion, so they can offer advice and guidance to you.
Do I need to own my own home?
No, however for local authority and privately rented properties, we would ask for written permission from the authority or the landlord for full time and respite placements.
I have animals, can I still become a Champion?
We would take into consideration the needs of the customer and any potential issues they may have regarding pets, as long as there are no risks with the animals, there should not be a problem.
How many people can I support?
You can provide support to a maximum of 3 people at the same time, dependent on the individual needs of the customers.
I have a criminal conviction - will this affect my application to become a Champion?
We try to take a balanced view and consider the nature of the conviction, and how long ago the crime was committed. All potential Champions will receive an enhanced DBS check, which will be funded by Wigan Council, we do ask that all potential champions inform us of any convictions, and these will be discussed on a case by case basis.
Will providing support affect my benefits?
We recommend that you discuss this with the Department for Work and Pensions, so that you are clear of whether becoming a champion will affect your entitlement. We can provide you with details of benefits surgeries that operate across the borough, they may also be able to offer support and information.
Do I need to be able to drive?
There is no requirement to be able to drive and/or have access to a vehicle, many of our champions use public transport, as long as this is convenient for you and the customer, then this is fine.
Will I need to have a home check?
All potential Champions will receive a “Tour of the Home” check as part of the assessment process, this is a health and safety exercise which will be completed by your allocated Shared Lives Officer at a convenient pre-arranged appointment.
Can I still work as well as provide Shared Lives support?
Yes, you are still able to continue in your work role as well as providing support.All full-time placements will have a period of meaningful day activities factored in for during the daytime Mon - Fri, so that the customer is engaging in activities that they are interested in and the Champion receives a period of respite. You are expected to be available at breakfast, in the evenings and weekends, this can be discussed and determined on a case by case basis.
Do I need to complete training?
Yes, there are 5 mandatory training courses that we ask all our Champions to complete, these have been designed to support you to effectively and confidently carry out the Champion role. All training is bespoke and relevant to the support you provide.
Am I too old to become a Shared Lives Champion?
There is no upper age limit for becoming a Shared Lives Champion, you need to be aged 18+, healthy, fit and active. As part of the assessment process, we may need to ask for a G.P. reference to ensure your GP is happy for you to continue with the process.