In 2014, we decided to take our first steps into developing a co-production culture within Camphill Village Trust. Our Camphill Village Trust co-production culture is based on wanting 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. 

What is Co-Production?

Co-production involves working together with the people we support creating a culture of ‘doing with’ rather than ‘doing for’ or ‘doing to’.

Through working together we are putting every person at the centre of achieving positive outcomes for all involved. This approach also requires bravery as activities and projects grow and develop in ways that no one could have predicted!

The Life of Opportunity I-Statements

The I-Statements which we have co-produced with the people we support underpin everything we do.

Read I-Statements here

Our approach to Co-Production

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.

Co-Production is about everyone

In the Trust we believe that co-production is for everyone.

  • The ‘Involve Me’ group have co-created tool bags of resources to support the involvement of everyone harnessing their unique skills and lived experiences.
  • People supported by the Trust co-deliver a workshop aimed at embedding the culture of co-production promoting a ‘doing with’ attitude in every interaction.

  • The Trust employs people with lived experience as ‘Life of Opportunity’ reviewers. Using the I-Statements they spend time in different services talking to people about their experiences of being supported by the Trust and helping to drive up quality in everything we do.

These are some of our co-produced projects, events and activities:

  • Developing Resources that help people keep safe.
  • Promoting the importance of Making Safeguarding Personal.

  • Developing accessible resources in different formats. This includes easy read policies and factsheets.
  • Co-Produced projects with partners.
  • Regional forums bringing people together to celebrate achievements together.
  • Co-produce an annual survey which is used to shine a light on the experiences of people supported by the Trust.
  • Community volunteering opportunities for individuals and groups.
  • Campaigning for the rights of people with disabilities.

Co-Production in partnership

A life of opportunity often means getting involved with work and activities outside of our communities. We work with a number of fantastic partners who provide opportunities for people to share their lived experiences to benefit the lives of others.

Sir John Law School

With Sir John Law School we co-produce resources around Mental Capacity Act with a student talented in Media, spending a week of work experience with us, as well as discussing content format on our Cafe on the Corner Instagram page led by Harry, a person we support. We may in the future have the opportunity to use the media equipment in the school!

The Hygiene Bank St Albans and Harpenden

The Cafe on the Corner host a Donation box for toiletries items for The Hygiene Bank St Albans and Harpenden and the Kindness Crew volunteer every few weeks to create hundred of toiletries bags in a couple of hours. We fill up the washbag with toothpaste, hair products, soap, sanitary items etc., to be distributed to local families in need.

The Kindness Crew

The Kindness Crew from Delrow community volunteers weekly at our next door school, the Gurukula school. They enjoy gardening with the children, litter picking, repairs, painting and reading books to them.

Teesside University

People from Botton and Larchfield work alongside Teesside University academics and researchers to act in an advisory capacity, sharing their lived experiences to help structure applications and develop creative data collection techniques.

Middlesbrough College

Students from Middlesbrough college co-produce projects with people across our northern communities as part of the college’s social impact scheme. Projects include creating materials and resources to help people stay safe online and the development of themed computer games that help people learn about composting in new and exciting ways.

“Excellent day yesterday everyone, can’t wait to see the games the students produce. Thank you to everyone who made the day such a success.”

Stephen Donnison, Head of Teaching and Learning, Middlesbrough College


Every year in May our friends from Barclaycard visit Larchfield Community to volunteer to help the community gear up for summer by completing maintenance tasks, painting and planting. All the work is co-produced with the community through liaison with the Voices of Larchfield group.

“I’ve been coming to Larchfield to volunteer since 2019 and I love it. Am really grateful Barclaycard and Barclays create these opportunities for staff to help our local community. We can see the difference we make and I love being around the community at Larchfield.”

Mark Probert, Business Readiness Manager, Barclays


Our communities regularly engage with activities and events with Rotary clubs up and down the country. Key examples include a school furniture to the Gambia project, the annual games for people with disabilities, the Tees Heritage fundraising walk and of course we visit meetings and give talks about Camphill Village Trust and our lives of opportunity.

“I would like to give our thanks for the contribution you and your kindness crew made towards the container loading. We literally couldn’t have done it without your input.”

Phil Taylor, Furniture to Gambia project lead, Cleveland Rotary Club


Our Co-Production groups helped Crimestoppers with developing accessible information about their work so people with learning disabilities can help keep themselves and others safe.

“I would like to thank the Voices of Larchfield at Camphill Village Trust, for taking on this project of producing a Crimestoppers Easy Read leaflet. Their enthusiasm, hard work, along with great teamwork and dedication, has ensured that we reach all communities across the UK, which will enable even more people to give information to our charity 100% anonymously.”

Fleur Brown, North East Regional Manager, Crimestoppers

Forest Voluntary Action Forum

Working together to develop digital skills and access to electronic resources, Camphill Village Trust communities in Gloucestershire even ventured into the world of podcasting to share their expertise and experiences with Forest Voluntary Action Forum.

“Digital inclusion is for everyone, and that embracing true co-production, digital support can be accessible regardless of someone’s starting point.”

Alex Digby, Digital Inclusion Project Manager, Forest Voluntary Action Forum