The importance of co-production
National Co-production Week is back for an eighth year.
At Your Place, co-production is so important to us to ensure that decision making is values-driven and built on the principle that those who use our services are best placed to help design them.
“Co-production is not just a word, it’s not just a concept, it is a meeting of minds coming together to find a shared solution. In practice, it involves people who use services being consulted, included and working together from the start to the end of any project that affects them.”
Too many people and communities are held back on the basis of their characteristics or life experiences. But we see difference and diversity as power, and are here to celebrate and embrace it.
“This place is the foundation from which to build yourself up, to stand on your own two feet again.” — Danny, resident
We take positive steps to provide opportunities for people who are experiencing homelessness to have their voices heard on the issues affecting them, by influencing decision-makers and seeking input into our service provision. We’re committed to ensuring that each person’s support needs are met, and that homelessness is a person’s housing status, and not their identity.
It’s essential that our services are as effective as they can be, in supporting people on their journeys to independent living. That’s why we ask those living in our services for their input and feedback continuously. Each month, we hold three meetings – one for all residents, and two gender-based meetings – where residents are invited to share their views on the services, facilities and activities available, what improvements could be made or support introduced. Residents can also feedback at any time to a member of the team or by using our anonymous suggestion and feedback box.
"“Your Place is more than just a roof over my head; it’s a community that has given me hope, support, and a chance to start a new chapter in my life.” – Halima, resident"
Collaboration is key, and a recent example of coproduction to design our services is the development of our Women’s Development Strategy. We listened to our women about the differences in their experiences of homelessness and that the support they needed has to be trauma-informed, relationship-based and drawing upon their resilience.
But we couldn’t develop our work in this area alone. Our strategy was co-produced with specialist services and partners that we work with, our frontline employees who provide support, and of course, the women we are here to help who shared their experiences and views on what they see as gaps in support services, to help shape effective services for women on their journeys away from homelessness. Their involvement has enabled us, as an organisation, to grow and do better and to improve the experiences of those we are here for.
And that’s surely what coproduction is all about – a meeting of minds for the greater good.