Devon Approval Panel Chairman Sally Palmer has chaired her final meeting. Here she reflects on her time on the panel, what she’s enjoyed and the highlights…
“Fifteen years ago I was a member of the first approval panel of the South West Adult Placement Scheme (SWAPS). In December 2019 I chaired my last Shared Lives panel, the current name describes so much better what you do.
Early panels lasted for a whole day, with a brief lunch. Before the Cornwall panel existed, the Devon one covered both counties, dealing with six to eight applications at a sitting.
It was a break through when photos were included. It took longer to actually meet potential carers face to face. Attending panel may be nerve wracking but it is so helpful for panel members to talk to the people they have read about.
“Highlights? Working with so many excellent SLCs and managers, and responsive admin staff. Amazing? The range of personalities, abilities, experiences and interests represented by all of you who 24/7 do share your lives.
I hand over happily to Viv Manear, the new panel chair, in whom I have complete confidence. The work Team Leader Anne Bilham has done is appreciated. She has recruited panel members with a balance of age and experience.
I will miss Shared Lives: it’s been a privilege to work with an outstanding team of people.”
Find out more about voluntary roles- including our approval panel – within Shared Lives South West here
We have panels across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. Panel members come from a wide range of backgrounds.