Jane Salazar

Associate

Jane Salazar

My passion for community-led projects and services started over 20 years ago while living in Mexico. Working alongside marginalised and indigenous communities I gave their stories a voice through my role as Editor on a national Mexican newspaper.

I have worked within the Mental Health and Domestic Violence & Abuse sectors and continue to advocate for community-led peer support and co-produced projects and services.

The aspect of co‑production that holds the biggest value for me is to ask the following questions:

  • Have you asked the people what they think the problem is?
  • Have you shared power and included the people in any decision making during the process?
  • Can we truly say ‘we aim to be transparent and inclusive in our approach and engagement processes with the people and communities we are working with’?

 

Working with Co‑create means together with our clients we can build partnerships built on co‑design theory and techniques. This means we authentically work together on projects, challenges and new services in our diverse communities that are meaningful and sustainable once Co‑create have left.

The things that really matter to me in my work are:

  • Involving people with lived experience in all my work. Without their voices the work is not only meaningless but also provides low social-capital return. From experience, this needs time, budget and people skilled in meaningful engagement, allocated to any project.
  • Working with clients in an inclusive and co‑designed environment and seeing a change in mindset.
  • Emphasising the importance of time: if we truly want to create sustainable services anywhere we need to find the time to ensure that our partnerships and projects are not transactionally led, but relationally led.
  • Lastly, and often missing on the list, is self-care. Through my own lived experience of mental health issues, I know how important it is to recognise your personal signs of burnout and understand what you need to do to keep yourself mentally healthy.