Being really honest, I’ve yet to see it done really well. Including by us! That’s because it’s not a one-off workshop.
It’s like mentoring, in that everyone has a different idea of what it is.
Having held some highly successful one-off (or two-off) workshops with young people as well as housing officers, there have been a number of outcomes.
People have felt included and valued. They’ve helped shape a project through vital lived experience. And they’ve developed buy-in on the resulting project, thus making it more likely to succeed.
For me these are the minimum requirements of co-production. To be achieved to their ultimate potential, engagement has to run from the outset, clear outcomes agreed, co-production designed into each aspect of a project and expectations managed as to the extent of influence.
As part of our TILS+ commissions, we’re now offering co-production workshops as part of the package. It’ll get a better outcome for the commissioner as well as the person receiving the service.
The ambition however, is to find the resource to do more, earlier and ongoing.
When engaged properly I trust young people 100% with the conclusions they draw. So why wouldn’t we include them?