As part of our blog series marking Multiple Disadvantage Day and Co-Production Week, in this guest blog a member of our Experts by Experience Network reflects on what co-production means to them and shares some recent examples of fantastic local co-production projects we've been involved in.
My experiences of co-production with FLNG
By an Experts By Experience Network member
My understanding of co-production is working with all agencies so that everyone has an equal say in improving services and making sure they do the best they can to improve things, overcome barriers and ensure they are fair.
Having lived experience of homelessness, substance misuse, domestic violence and mental health, I joined the Experts By Experience Network to try and help change things for the better in the wider community.
I have been involved with safeguarding events and mental health events and this has went some way into improving services. I have also been involved in sense-making sessions about access to community health services during the pandemic with Emma from Newcastle University (big thank you Emma!). I enjoyed this immensely and our work has gone towards new research in a UK public health conference submission. I am looking forward to continuing to work with Emma over the next few months to do more.
I am also involved in an oral health and hygiene project and have been involved in making an animated video in the creative group with Emma and Laura from Newcastle University to help people gain access to better oral healthcare and understand what barriers they face in doing so. I have also met Sarah from the Integrated Care Service around winning hearts and minds of professionals around their role in the prevention of alcohol harm.
I also recently attended the last focus group on food insecurity, research again with a local university and last but not least I am looking forward to a workshop session with XPS (a new school in Gateshead) to give our ideas on poverty and deprivation and the experiences we have had which will be made into a short book.
Emma Joyes is one of the researchers leading the oral health project. She said:
“It’s been incredibly insightful working the Experts By Experience Network on this project. Their input has been instrumental in developing the video. One example of the ways in which the video was developed based on our discussions was that we added characters which represented a family unit. This was to make the video more representative of those with experience of multiple complex needs, which was something that was really important to us. This is just one of the ways their insights helped to shape the video. We have found the feedback from the group really valuable and me and Laura have thoroughly enjoyed collaborating on this project with the group.”
New members are also welcomed to the Experts by Experience Network – find out more at Get Involved.