The storyteller shares some reflections on the Not Another Co-Production Project

it yourself. So it feels Tell me about your experience of being involved in not another coproduction project. Um, so but the whole not another co-production project has been really interesting. Um, it's been quite experimental

Um, I think maybe that's something to do with the people who've been involved, Um, and how we've kind of managed it. Um, and it might have been quite different had it been other other people. Um, but I think we were really clear from the start that we wanted to to focus on building the connections and the relationships with people and organisations rather than push people into a space where they felt they had to go away and do lots of tangible stuff

So I think that's made it hard in some ways. Um, but definitely better. So all of the projects and organisations that have been involved have kind of in my opinion, this is been involved in different ways, engaged with it on different levels and perhaps taken away from it different, different things, depending on on what they needed, if that makes sense

So what is the stuff that you've most enjoyed? Um, I think I've most enjoyed those just those moments, those little moments where you realise that people have get it and and where things have shifted. So I spent time with a team in one council, Um, who are, you know, quite like nationally, seen as as leaders in terms of, um, Co-production if if that's how we define what they do, But actually just to sit with, spend a day with them and and sit with them and do the workshops and think through what CO-PRODUCTION really means and see them come to a different understanding, um, of what co-production. Is, And to understand that it's more about the conditions that they create for people so creating spaces where people they can build the relationships with the communities and groups that they're supporting and that they can really listen and be responsive, um was was a highlight

And then the flip side of that is their understanding of how much the system, even in a very progressive, um, area holds them back. Um, so So that and then I think just in in the launch sessions, um, where we provided some kind of activities and reflective space for people to think through. Really, what coproduction meant to them again, just having, you know, those rooms full of people and people going through those activities where we were pushing them to think about their feelings and their own experiences, Um, and then applying that to the people and groups and organisations they're working with, um and just seeing those light bulbs go on really? In terms of what they're doing

Thanks. Um, So I was wondering, like, what were you taking to other? Like what? You said experiments. Or so is there stuff that you'll be taking into other pieces of your work? So what? What will you take from this experimental approach? I think for me, um, it it reinforces or reassures me that my approach to CO-PRODUCTION and and and of colleagues that I work closely with is is the right one

Um, I think this might be the first time we've been so flexible in our approach to a longer term project. So we didn't sit down right at the start and set, you know, there were some objectives, obviously, that we had to to work to in terms of the numbers of workshops and things that we did and and the reach in terms of numbers of people and that kind of thing. But we didn't have a a very clear plan in terms of what that would look like

And I think that was that was the freedom that that gives you, then to go in and pull people together into a space. But know that you haven't got to tick certain boxes, makes it much easier for us to listen and really respond to what people need. And especially, I think, because we had such a diverse, um, range of groups, you know, from individuals who kind of just found their way into the space

Um, who may have a loose affiliation to a community organisation through to the local authorities and foundation trust and bigger national charities and anything in between. So, um, now I can't remember what the question you just asked me was so again, it's that it is the reassurance. I think that to work in that way is is the right one

But it makes me want to push the boundaries even further and see, you know what we can, what we can do. And I know already in terms of working with other organ organisations. It's given us the boldness to go and say Look, trust us to not give you a very specific plan in terms of what we're going to do, but allow us to get alongside and listen and really understand and and think about what you need and then we can work with you to plan

And that's what we've done with each of the individual organisations. I think that's been part of this. Each bit of the bespoke part of what we've offered has been different depending on what's different rather than just offering the same

Um, because everybody was at very different places. So yeah, my final question is, if you could sum the project up into a word or image, what would that be? Um, I don't I don't know. Uh, probably a bit like a spider web

Um, it's not a, you know, the spider webs look quite chaotic, but actually, there's a lot of intricacy in there and a lot of joining of dots, and it's all networked and linked together. Um really, really Well, so I kind of think it's it, it's It's been a It's been a really lovely experience, and I think It's led to some really beautiful moments. Um, but they're all kind of joined, Um, and the strength in that as well

I think if you use the spider Web analogy..

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