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The Co-production Approach

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Across the country, 12 projects under our Fulfilling Lives: Supporting People with multiple needs programme, are working towards system change. Find out more about the programme

One of the key priorities for each of the 12 projects is co-production. But what does this mean?

Co-production is about working together, taking risks together, being responsible together, and solving problems together.

It is about re-balancing the power structure and creating a level playing field. Leaving roles and responsibilities at the door, so that everyone is equal, and every opinion is considered. In applying co-production principles, each project recognises the assets of every person, debates and listens, and problem solves together.

People with lived experience have a wealth of knowledge to offer, both in terms of what does and doesn’t work. Unfortunately, this knowledge is often hidden behind the stigma of addiction, mental ill health and homelessness; meaning crucial insights are missed.

In order to ensure co-production underpins all of their work, project teams take the following approach:

  • Co-design
  • Co-decision making
  • Co-delivery of services
  • Co-evaluation of services

For more detailed information, the projects have produced a co-production information sheet

Below is a summary of co-produced work taking place across the country via the Fulfilling Lives programme. To find out more about specific work in your area, click on the relevant link.

Each project that forms part of the Fulfilling Lives programme has many examples of co-produced work and the positive outcomes of this approach. At Opportunity Nottingham, a dedicated Expert Citizen Group are involved in everything from recruitment to the development of services, often feeding directly into the work of Commissioners.

At Birmingham Changing Futures Together, a flagship user involvement programme titled Every Step of the Way enables Expert Citizens to have their say in the way services and systems should work both locally and nationally.

At Blackpool Fulfilling Lives, people with ‘lived experience’ work on the project in a variety of roles including as Peer Mentors, and also provide continuous input into service development and delivery.

At Bristol Golden Key, Independent Futures (the project advisory group involving those with lived experience) has recently informed a Housing First Pilot, and members also sit on the Strategic Board.

Co-production plays an important role at Inspiring Change Manchester, with their ‘Core Group’ working on everything from recruitment to research.

At the Fulfilling Lives South East Partnership a recent piece of co-produced work has involved review and redesign of a yearly survey about the project, resulting in improved responses and insights for evaluation.

At Voices of Stoke a dedicated volunteering community of Expert Citizens are involved in all aspects of the project, and wider work across the City.

At the WY-FI project, a team of three Co-production Workers are employed, and the project also has its own network dedicated to co-produced work.

Fulfilling Lives Islington and Camden have a Peer Development Board who provide governance and have a say in the strategic approach of the project.

At Fulfilling Lives Newcastle and Gateshead, the Experts by Experience Network enables people with lived experience to be at the heart of programme planning and delivery.

At Liverpool Waves of Hope, a Lived Experience Hub has recently opened, and the project also has an Involvement Policy Statement.

At You First, the Expert Service User Reference Group, works closely with the project providing advice and recommendations.

For more information on the Fulfilling Lives programme contact Claire.Fudge@biglotteryfund.org.uk