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Charity urges more people to open up their homes to those in need

Mo welcomed Ethan into her home two years ago Credit: ITV Wales

A charity are urging more people to get involved in a scheme which is hoping to revolutionise the way social care is offered in Wales.

Shared Lives encourages people to open up their homes to help support vulnerable people and give them the skills to live an independent life. So far, 1,000 people in Wales have benefitted.

One person who has been helped by the scheme is Ethan Morgan. Nearly two years ago, he was welcomed into the home of Mo Hand. She is one of thousands of Shared Lives carers who receive financial support to care for vulnerable people.

''The day we met we just clicked,'' she said.

''It was like I'd known him all my life.''

Ethan is learning how to live independently Credit: ITV Wales

20-year-old Ethan has learning difficulties and spent most of his childhood in foster care. Thanks to the scheme, he has a place to call home.

''I wouldn't be here without them,'' Ethan said.

''They're preparing me for the outside world. If it wasn't for them I'd be on the street right now.''

With help from Mo, Ethan can make plans for the future. He is learning how to manage his own finances and, with his own living room and kitchen, he can live as independently as he wants.

The charity are urging more people like Mo to get involved in the scheme.

The commitment you need to do it is 110%. There isn't an hour where you're not on duty but what it gives you is a sense of making a difference, enabling them to live a better, more independent, life to recover their strength and achieve their goals.

– Babs Lewis, Shared Lives Plus

The benefits for Ethan have been clear. Amongst the new skills he has learnt, he has now gained the confidence to become a mechanic.

For Mo, that makes it all worthwhile.

''It's a challenge because you're opening up your home and your life to a complete stranger,'' she said.

''I'd really encourage anyone to give someone that opportunity if they've got a spare room, it's a great opportunity. It could really change their lives.''