Co-production blogs

Introducing Co-Production Week 2020: A welcomed opportunity to talk about all things Co-Pro

Week commencing 6th July is Co-production Week! As co-production is at the heart of Age Better in Sheffield, we are making the most of this week that is annually dedicated to co-production. Here's some of the ways we will be getting involved...

By Imogen Parker · July 2, 2020

National Co-Production Week, hosted each year by the SCIE (the Social Care Institute for Excellence) provides the perfect platform to talk all things “Co-Pro”. This year the #ABCO-PRO project will be taking part, to share insights on our co-production learning on behalf the national Ageing Better programme areas. Throughout the week we will be sharing a series of videos, blogs and tweets in collaboration with SYHA (South Yorkshire Housing Association), Age Better in Sheffield’s lead organisation.

The chance to take part is especially important to Ageing Better as co-production is at the heart of everything we do and central to the work of the 14 Ageing Better programmes areas across the national network.

What is Co-Production?

As described by the SCIE, co-production is all about organisations and professionals working together in equal partnership with the people that use their services, offering the chance to change the way in which services are offered and ensuring that people are given real choice and control, so that things are set up “with people” and not done “to people”.

The Ageing Better Co-Production Project is busy collating examples of all the different ways in which the 14 programmes areas have been using co-production within their communities, with the overall aim of creating an online national Co-Pro in Action Toolkit.  Our toolkit will offer an abundance of information and resource and will be available to any organisation, service, group or individual to tap in to, in order to learn how to do co-production well, and understand why putting in the time and effort required for effective co-production reaps so much reward.  We are proud of our co-production achievements over the span of the last five years and want others to be able to learn from what we now know.

Co-Production Week – What are we getting up to?

During Co-Pro week this year, on behalf of the #ABCOPRO project, we have chosen to demonstrate our own interpretations of the key principles of co-production, cutting through some of the jargon and revealing co-pro definitions that have come from our people on the ground.  Our co-producing in a crisis series which was launched in May this year, to show how co-production methods have needed to adapt and change, will also feature during the week.  We will also be sharing informative and heart-warming co-pro blogs from Ageing Better partners Time to Shine Leeds, & Brightlife Cheshire, and we hope that you will enjoy reading what co-production means to us.

To give you a taster, here are a few co-production examples from our Sheffield based programme (Age Better in Sheffield). These examples showcase some of the ways that ABiS partners have been involved in co-production over the past 5 years.  This work is designed to enable people across Sheffield to come together and work towards the shared aim of reducing isolation and loneliness for older people within our local communities.

In 2017 ABiS put a shout out for older people to come forward to talk about what it would take to create an age aware Sheffield through the #BeingKnown campaign, promoting an online conversation to include as many individuals as possible.  The hope was for people to be able to share their individual stories and have conversations that would lead to lasting change in and around the city.

Melting Pot Lunches was a 2018 initiative which was set up to engage with the BAME community and also Men around a shared love of food, in order to spark ideas and discussions relating to activities that would be right for them.

Developing Neighbourhood Toolkits has been one of ABiS’s big achievements, and the 3rd toolkit was officially launched back in 2018. The Firth Park toolkit which includes inspiring ways to engage people and encourage them to take part in a range of community-based activities was co-designed with local residents of all ages and posted out to 7,000 homes.

Following on from last year’s Co-pro Week Theme

Last year’s co-production week theme was Power Sharing and we thought we would include a link to our 2019 blog which talks about Age Better in Sheffield’s Core Partnership, the co-governing body for all ABiS related activity.  The Core Partnership was set up to ensure that all representatives have equal voice and influence in to how the programme is delivered.  This theme is particularly important to the findings of the co-pro project as it will be one of the key topics that will be explored amongst Ageing Better programme areas and we will be co-designing a webinar on power sharing later this year – so watch this space.

Last year’s blog on Power Sharing as part of Co-Pro Week 2019

We hope that provides you with an interesting insight into what’s to come next week; we would love for other organisations and services to engage with us about our co-pro work and welcome the opportunity to talk to other organisations, groups and networks about different co-production experiences, so please do get in touch by emailing Vicky at to connect with us!

Written by Vicky O’Donoghue (Co-Production Project Lead for Ageing Better)