Co-Production Festival, July 2016

Co-Production Festival, July 2016
Co-Production Festival, July 2016

Monday 27 June 2016

Co-production conference

By Jim Leyland and Ben Deutsch of Touchstone, which provides a range of innovative services that improve health and wellbeing.

Delegates at the Leeds event 

Touchstone is a wellbeing and mental health charity based in Leeds, working with diverse communities. We wanted to share our leadership principles with partners and worked collaboratively with them and people who use services to host a coproduction conference.

The day offered a mix of formal presentations, great examples of coproduction and workshops. The key note speech focussed on building on citizenship and promoting democratic professionalism.

Examples included redesigning recruitment policies and procedures with people who use services, effective support planning and designing training for organisations.
The workshops focussed on asset based approaches, reciprocity and developing social networks.

Delegates gave their suggestions for a deeper development of co-production, both in Touchstone and other organisations.

  • Challenge language used to make it more accessible and less about “them” and “us”.
  • Embed coproduction values into tenders we submit for contracts.
  • Set up a coproduction network that would meet regularly and include service commissioners in network events.
  • Develop agreed standards on coproduction (and do this in a way that still allows diversity and difference).
  • Encourage funders and commissioners to employ asset based approaches – particularly looking at assets of the most marginalised communities.
  • Identify and target areas where coproduction would have greatest impact.
  • Develop a coproduction toolkit.
  • Run a similar conference in other regions and also conferences for more targeted areas – neighbourhoods, rather than cities.
  • Coproduction needs to involve a diverse range of people – respecting that their will be a range of opinions and points of view both among people who access services and also among those who provide them.
  • Avoid lecturing or colonising communities.

The day was closed by a local poet with lived experience of accessing services, who composed and performed a poem summarising the various views of coproduction that had been expressed by delegates.

“Services need to be available, enthusiastic and keen,
Valuing clients input, helping develop goals and a shared dream.”

“How do we develop awareness and use language accessible to all? Coproduction is essential for everyone and should not be tokenistic or small.”

“Changing traditions, challenging status quo and people with their own agendas; Think about the language we use – everyone’s a value remember.”

Hear the full poem here


  1. Such nice information about Co-production conference. It is good that the event was successful. At the local corporate events NYC venue we also hosted business lunch and annual conference. The venue offered all the services on their own and made our event planning hassle free.