We asked members of the Co-production Advisory Group, to reflect on the year, and the work of the group so far. Scroll through to read reflections from Karen McCormick (Lived Experience Engagement Lead), and Ann Marie Penman who co-designed and co-facilitated the last Co-production Advisory Group meeting of 2022.
Karen McCormick’s Reflections
Our Co-production Advisory Group has been given the freedom this year to co-design and co-develop our way of working (Charter), our workplan and how we will meet strategic objectives. This approach has been a breath of fresh air. However, it is not without challenge. There is a fine line between coordinating, supporting, and delivering for the group and the project but in a way that is not prescriptive.
We created a reflections document, which collates the sentiments, thoughts, and ideas of group members. Starting from “you said”, we move towards the outcomes we want to achieve and some actions that we can either take as a group or put forward to other team members in IMPACT that may be helpful in delivering the outcomes.
We have a number of priorities for 2023, including: establishing and embedding two-way communications with and across IMPACT, continuing to identify the skills and assets of the group and expand our engagement offering, and establishing a feedback loop.
Thoughts from Ann Marie Penman
It seems to me that we’ve come a really long way. We’ve come together from across four nations, with different backgrounds, experiences, skills, and opinions but with a shared belief in the value of co-production to make things better.
It’s been a really steep learning curve, in terms of getting to know each other, the wider work of IMPACT and what our role is and might be.
Our remit is very broad, but there are three key aspects:
- develop, support, monitor and review IMPACT’s co-production activity
- produce an annual report
- identify areas of good practice and areas for development
In our first year, it feels like we’ve had an inward focus, quite rightly looking at us as a group and what we bring, our strengths and our assets. As well as that, we’ve been exploring and gathering more information on the wider work of IMPACT.
Each time we’ve met, we have raised questions, made observations, picked up issues and contributed comments – and it’s all of these that have been gathered together into our reflections document. Essentially, it’s giving us a direction for our second year. It’s clear in these recommendations that it’s still important that we continue getting to know each other better but there’s also now an increased emphasis on our personal development, for each one of us. What is the benefit for any one of us in being part of this group?
And there is a clearer balance now in terms of what we want to be bringing to the wider work of IMPACT – what difference do we make, what value do we add and how are things better because of us, the Co-production Advisory Group?
The reflections document is our own development plan. It’s what we’ve come up with ourselves in terms of what is important for us but also recommendations for the IMPACT Leadership Team, for all the different IMPACT projects and the whole organisation.
I think it’s important to remember this is a living document. It will grow and develop each time we meet as we go through the next year. We can add to it, change it and further develop it but also what we want to do is think about, for each recommendation, what is the outcome that we want to put forward as the Co-Production Advisory Group, what will be better and specifically what is the benefit and for who?