Download the Shared Lives Cookbook

James and Greame make pizza and cake together virtually

Learn how to cook a prawn curry or try your hand at making a pizza with the new Shared Lives cookbook, with recipes designed by Shared Lives service users over the COVID-19 lockdown. 

Shared Lives is a supported living scheme, where vulnerable residents have a room in their carers home, where they are supported to live independent and fulfilling lives. The service user might have a learning disability, mental ill health or just need some short term support after a hospital visit before they return home. 

During the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic in April 2020, when many of the normal activities were not available, the Shared Lives scheme started to work digitally with the carers and people living in the scheme. Two of the scheme's participants, James and Graeme, were feeling a bit fed up with lack of activities, so their carers got together to organise a virtual cooking session for the two men. What materialised was a love of cooking and a shared interest. James and Graeme challenged each other to a “cook off” each week and the results were photographed by their carers, and eventually made into the Shared Lives cookbook to celebrate their achievements. 

James has lived in the Hackney Shared lives scheme for 13 years. He lives with Montserrat and her family and especially enjoys cooking Jamie Oliver recipes. Graeme has lived in Hackney Shared Lives for 10 years. He lives with Nazma and her family.

The Shared Lives cookbook is now available to download from the Council website. Offering easy to follow recipes and space in the back for people to add in their own creations.

I missed cooking and really love that I can do it again. Jamie Oliver cook books are easy to follow and I just purchased a new book. I love different foods and would like to meet up with Graeme or others and go to different restaurants.
The sessions were good, taking part, meeting people. I now do video sessions with the day centre and see my friends finally. I want to carry on cooking, it would be nice.

People over 21, who have a spare bedroom and live in Hackney can become a Shared Lives carer. Carers don’t need special qualifications, what’s more important is the right attitude and a desire to help people improve their quality of life. Carers usually support a person to be as independent as they can – for some people this might entail learning to dress themselves, making a sandwich, travelling independently. Find out more about becoming a Shared Lives Carer: https://hackney.gov.uk/shared-lives

Download the cookbook, and find out what service users say about the Shared Lives service here: https://hackney.gov.uk/shared-lives-service-users