HEREFORDSHIRE Council is asking people to open up their homes to provide extra support to vulnerable people.

Currently over 50 people in Herefordshire are providing full-time or temporary accommodation for 75 people under the Shared Lives scheme.

Designed to support adults with learning disabilities, mental health problems or other needs that make living independently difficult, the scheme aims to help people to live ordinary lives, remain in the area and in some cases, avoid moving to a care home.

Carers receive pay, training and support from the council's Shared Lives Team.

Allison Evans who, alongside husband David, has been a Herefordshire Shared Lives carer for several years said: "I had previously worked in the care industry, so finding a job were we could provide care for someone in our own home was perfect.

"We provide a safe, nurturing family environment that helps people to reach their full potential.

"As a couple we're really people focused, so we like to find out what the people we care for enjoy doing, so we can do things together as a family.

Becky, who has been living with the Evans' for three-and-a-half-years, said: "The scheme has changed my life in a huge way.

"Allison and David have made me feel part of their family and this has helped me to become more independent as I've grown older."

Anyone interested in the scheme is invited to attend a drop-in information session will be held on February 19 from 11am to 2pm in Committee Room 2 at the Town Hall, Hereford, or contact the Shared Lives Team at Herefordshire Council on 01432 260798.