SHARE Scotland was founded in 1984 by a group of parents of young people with complex disabilities. Their children were due to leave school and the parents were worried about the long term care options available to their children - they wanted them to have positive and fulfilling lives, to be part of their communities, the idea of them living in institutions was simply unacceptable. The parents took matters into their own hands and formed the committee of what is known today as SHARE Scotland.
The seeds planted at that initial meeting back in 1984 took root and after several years of tireless fundraising, lobbying and campaigning, two houses were opened in 1991 to support five adults in each. This was a ground-breaking shift from the traditional, outmoded form of residential care in Scotland and another five person house opened shortly afterwards.
SHARE recognised that whilst the five person houses offered a positive alternative to the large institutions, for some it was merely a stepping stone on the natural progression to fuller independence. Now, many of the people SHARE supports live in their own tenancies, either on their own or sharing with one other person, ensuring a truly individualised service and support that is tailored to the exact needs of the service user. The Management Committee continues to be made up of those founding parents, as well as the parents of service users who have come to be supported by SHARE over the last quarter of a century.
Below is John's story about how he and his daughter Nicola joined us at Share and the positive impact this has had on their lives.