For Co-Production Week (4-9 July 2022), Advisory Group member Keri pens a blog to explain why she cares so much about co-production, and what impact co-production can have on a person and on a whole community. You can also watch Keri’s video blog on why she volunteers as an Advisory Group member at MFT.
“Recently, my Linkedin account sent me ideas for diversifying my career route. In its digital wisdom, it suggested the grand job title of becoming a Producer. Little does it know, I am one already: a co-producer for the Mary Frances Trust (MFT).
I cannot express how rewarding it is to come full-circle (with still a few manageable hiccups along the way) and be asked to translate your lived experiences into transformative work for local mental health provision and social care.
Co-production is important simply because we have been there, been through it and know the health systems. It offers the chance to contribute to make the lives of people with mental health conditions better with improved public services.
At MFT, the Advisory Group meets regularly online, at the moment, and is introduced to different members of the MFT team, who we may potentially work with on projects in the future. We discuss ideas, offer our experience and services to complete work the charity is focussing on at that given time.
This time last year, we ran a successful workshop for Co-production Week and I wrote a blog and recorded a podcast on “a mental health friendly society”, which was aired on MFT’s show, the ‘Wellbeing Hour’, on Surrey Hills Community Radio and was fun to make.
Others in the group, use their skills for recruiting/interviewing people to MFT and designing eye-catching posters. The Advisory Group is a fledgling arm of the charity, so we have only just started our good work.
The impact of co-production is the changes you see around you. Be it in the courses that are offered by MFT; the caring, professional staff recruited by the trust; the frontline influence we offer to our CEO and Trustees and NHS professionals. All carried out in a democratic and consultative approach.
When you engage with stakeholders and discuss what needs to happen; this is responsible activism, which we call co-production.”
Find out more
If you would like to find out more about Co-Production and the work of our Advisory Group, please visit the Co-Production section of our website or contact Jan, our Co-Production and Community Engagement Worker, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07472 811863. If you’d like to join our Advisory Group, visit our Advisory Group vacancy page.
Our Advisory Group is also holding a coffee morning on Tuesday 5 July at 2pm-3pm in Epsom Downs. Download the poster to find out more.