Co-production has become somewhat of a corporate buzzword of late, skating dangerously close to tokenistic territory. But when applied properly, for the right reasons, co-production is the best way to provide effective support services for the most vulnerable people in our local communities.
Across the country, along with 11 other Big Lottery-funded Fulfilling Lives Programmes we are working to create system change and improve services for people with multiple and complex needs, through co-production.
This week we are all celebrating the third national Co-production Week… #coproweek. Co-production is at the heart of the Fulfilling Lives Programme, ensuring people with lived experience have a real say in the design and delivery of support services.
Co-production Week is a great opportunity to celebrate and promote the benefits of co-production, share good practice, and highlight the contribution of people who use services and carers in the development of better public services.
Here at WY-FI, we’re promoting the fantastic work that has come out of giving a platform and the control to the people who we support, and who have lived experience of multiple and complex needs.
Case Study: Valuing Lived Experience in the Workforce
WY-FI held an employment event with staff and people with lived experience to develop a set of principles and a good practice guide that workplaces could follow to become ‘recovery friendly’. These were adopted by the project’s Core Partnership Management Board.
Outcomes were agreed between people with lived experience, DWP, HR colleagues and Service Managers, and included:
- Pledges made by partners to embed good pratice
- DWP named contact for beneficiary enquiries
- Developing co-produced training to professionals
- Seeking to publish principles and practice externally
To us, co-production isn’t just a buzzword to throw into articles and tenders. Co-production means real change.
It means listening to all voices around the table.
It means valuing lived experience and being respectful of different perspectives.
It means co-creating something and educating each other.
It means rebalancing the power structure; enabling people who have ‘walked the walk’ to do some talking.