Co-production is a way of working that combines our mutual strengths and capacities so that we can work together on an equal basis to achieve positive change. It is about breaking down the organisational and invisible barriers between people who use services, people who provide services, and people who design services. It emphasises doing things with people rather than doing things to people or for people.
Co-production at Making Space is an intentional act and starts from the principle that everybody has valuable skills, knowledge and experience to offer.
Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) gives the following recommendations on how to develop co-productive approaches in organisations and projects. SCIE recommends Co-production should be based upon a framework for change management, structured around a four-piece jigsaw covering culture, structure, practice and review.
Ensure that co-production runs through the culture of an organisation
Ensure that this culture is built on a shared understanding of what co-production is, a set of principles for putting the approach into action and the benefits and outcomes that will be achieved with the approach
Ensure that organisations develop a culture of being risk aware rather than risk averse
Involve everyone who will be taking part in the co-production from the start
Value and reward people who take part in the co-production process
Ensure that there are resources to cover the cost of co-production activities
Ensure that co-production is supported by a strategy that describes how things are going to be communicated
Build on existing structures and resources
Volunteers play an important role within Making Space and we believe that volunteering is an important part of co-production. Our volunteers come from many different backgrounds and they contribute to all we do by providing a wide variety of roles.
The benefits of volunteering are:
Volunteers, who have a lived experience, help Making Space design services by providing somewhere we can have an ongoing dialogue to help improve services and can make a difference. Volunteering continues to develop and grow and as a result we have seen a substantial increase in the numbers of volunteers supporting various activities throughout the organisation.