ORGANISERS of a project to help people with disabilities and older people live independent lives in Oldbury are looking to scale new heights with a bid to recruit carers.

Service users and managers from the Shared Lives scheme took part in a rock climb at the Portway Lifestyle Centre to kick-start the campaign.

People interested in being a paid carer - either for a few hours, for short breaks or for a longer term - can 'drop in' to an open day, which will be held at the Newbury Lane centre on Wednesday January 15 at 7pm.

Councillor Yvonne Davies, Sandwell Council's cabinet member for adult social care, said: "We want to help people with disabilities and older people to gain more independence and control over their lives.

"We do this by matching them with people willing to share their home, for a few hours, short breaks, or long-term. We try to find people to suit the carer's lifestyle and arrange for them to spend time with the carer before they come to stay.

"I would encourage anyone who may be interested to come along to these open days, or to get in touch, to find out more. Being a carer can be a hugely rewarding experience and brings a number of other benefits too."

People who sign up must have previously cared for adults, through paid or voluntary work or caring for a relative. They do not need formal qualifications.

The council carries out training and assessment, a 'police check' and health and safety checks at the potential carer's home.

Carers would be expected to offer accommodation and support to someone and share their home with them.

Support could include personal care, helping them manage their money and taking  medication.

Carers can support up to three people at any one time, but cannot employ staff.

To find out more, contact the Shared Lives team on 0121 553 0067, email or visit