I’ve had lots of different roles, but what brings them all together is a focus on supporting people to take greater control of their lives – especially around health and wellbeing.
I’ve spent a lot of time in the voluntary sector; and I’ve worked for different NHS organisations as a practitioner, manager and board member. I have an academic background in social sciences, which has shaped my approach to the world.
Co-production for me represents a set of methods for those who have more power to share with those who have less. The ethical reasons for this are justification enough, but I have also seen many times that co-production just makes better stuff. I have had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/M.E. for nearly 20 years, which has given me first-hand experience of organisations that are unable to do their best work because they have not been set up alongside the people they aim to serve.
I started with Co:Create as an Associate – working with clients to establish a vision for their work with us, working out who we want to include, and how we’re going to do that. I’ve spent a lot of time facilitating workshops of different sorts – I love that co-production always brings new answers, even to old questions. Now I spend more time on setting up new projects, working out how we approach new challenges, and working with our brilliant Associates to support clients to involve people and communities in their work in the most meaningful ways possible.
I am really driven by tackling inequality in its many forms – recognising it, understanding it, addressing it. I am particularly interested in how easy it is for all of us to perpetuate inequalities simply by continuing to do things in the way they have been done before. I love getting stuck into ways to address this, such as an ongoing piece of work on developing new ways to recruit staff that reduce bias towards certain types of experience and background.
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