Seven years ago, we decided to take our first steps into developing a co-production culture within Camphill Village Trust. We wanted to improve every single interaction whether it be between a person and their support worker, a group working together on a project that benefits the whole community or even by creating opportunities for people to have real influence over the governance and direction of the charity.
Working co-productively requires a commitment from all involved but it is worth it! Through working together we are putting every person at the centre of achieving positive outcomes for everyone involved. This approach also requires bravery as activities and projects grow and develop in ways that no one could have predicted!
The first step is embracing the unique skills and talents every person has, then being creative in how to harness and encourage everyone’s unique contributions. Once you achieve this it then enables each person to take responsibility and ownership for achieving the outcome they want.
Next, we needed to create a culture that supports people to work together equally, encouraging people to collaborate with a clear purpose and plan. To support this work we have recruited co-production leads in every community, passionate people dedicated to ensuring co-production is the thread that runs through all we do. They are skilled in using tools, methods and facilitation styles they can adapt and develop to ensure everyone can participate in a way that makes sense to them. It’s important to recognise the contribution each person can make. We can then also identify where any support needs to be focused.
At the core of the co-production process is the commitment to share responsibility, celebrate achievements and equally, embrace challenges when they occur. This means that results may not always be achieved quickly or in the way expected. However, nobody said co-production was easy or for the faint-hearted but the results are worth it.
Co-production is transforming the way we work with people with learning disabilities and autism. The result across Camphill Village Trust is challenging and inspirational to all. The people we support are growing in confidence. They’re taking more responsibility in their own lives all whilst taking active and varied roles within the communities they live in.
So far co-produced projects, events and activities include:
- CVT Connect a digital platform that supports people to connect and work together using technology.
- Co-producing a film and training aimed at ensuring families are included in the co-productive culture.
- Lego Mindstorm workshops run by people supported.
- Developing a welcome pack written by people supported by the charity.
- Making short films highlighting road safety and independent travel.
- Coproducing films used in staff training and inductions.
- Codesigning newsletters and easy read policies and factsheets.
- Setting up and running a fitness suite.
- Running social and community events.
Download more information about Camphill Village Trust and Co-production