Getting our heads together to dream big

On September 14th we hosted a workshop exploring how co-production can drive system change for people experiencing multiple disadvantage. Almost 100 people from a variety of backgrounds joined us for this interactive online event.

The webinar began with powerful viewpoint from Charlotte Manning, a FLLSL Ambassador with lived experience of accessing drug services, who talked about her negative experience of co-production consultations in the past and how the Appreciative Inquiry model offered her a better experience.

She described how this approach steered people towards thinking about solutions, rather than focusing on problems, and how having contributions from paid staff as well as people accessing services, created a sense of equality and value.

Charlotte explained: “It made me realise that service user groups of old were often just a place for people to vent. It was very valuable to sit in a room with paid staff and hear their frustrations and difficulties too; it felt like a two way conversation. Being heard like that made me feel valued and I came out of the process calm and with self-esteem and a greater understanding of the challenges everyone faces when developing services.”

Linda Bush from Inspirit Training talked about how important it is to prepare and support people with lived experience who are asked to be involved in co-production and she explained how her organisation helps people to feel ready, safe and confident. For example, writing job specifications and recruiting on a panel for the service they are delivering, using their experience to inform meaningful and lasting change.

Tony McKenzie from Joseph Rowntree Foundation said co-production was a ‘slow and steady’ process which required not simply asking for opinions, but sharing experiences as well. Tony shared stories that highlighted the need to be less-risk adverse in relation to co-production. He emphasised the importance of relating to each other as humans and how the process of co-production is as important as the outcome.

These presentation were followed by a lively workshop which asked people to ‘dream big’ about new and bold ways to ensure an effective co-produced approach.

Our next co-production workshop on Tuesday October 19th 10am-11am, will build on these ‘dream big’ ideas to explore how it is possible to design and deliver innovative co-production which creates real change.

You can sign up this second webinar via EventBrite here.