Our History

In the 1970s the only way that families affected by disability could have a break was if their child or family member was admitted to a special hospital. In 1977 a group of parents in Stockport decided to work together to set up an alternative.

With support from the local authority, they found a large building, which was turned into a holiday home for a small number of children. It was known as ‘The Pines’ and the service enabled parents to have a break, knowing that their children were being looked after in a positive, stimulating and nurturing environment.

‘The Pines’ became Independent Options and three decades after it was set up, the organisation offers a range of services to people of all ages, which are delivered by professionally qualified staff teams. We support over 600 people every year, our services operate in Stockport, Oldham and Trafford and we support people from other boroughs across the North West.

Jason's Story

Jason, a Shared Lives Service User: “Shared Lives is a place you can go to get help. You can make and meet new friends, and they have good carers. You get to go on holiday and share your life with someone else. My life is better because of Shared Lives because I have a home that is safe, calm and easy to live in. Shared Lives is helping me to be more independent and gain skills for the future. I am being helped to be a part of my community and I am supported when I am faced with challenges. Talking with my carer helps me to meet those challenges and it gives me confidence.”

Shared Lives Carer: “I have worked in care services for many years, but there is nothing more rewarding than welcoming someone into your own home, and sharing everything in your lives. The relationship that builds between you is something special. No amount of money could buy that.”

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