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Putting People at the Centre

IRISS very much tires to encourage working in partnership with people – placing those who use services at the centre of design of services and support.

Co-production is a way to describe this way of working where service providers and users can work together to create something sustainable that works for them all. The approach is value-driven and built on the principle that those who are affected by a service are best placed to help design it.

In order to ensure that the voice of older people and their carers is heard throughout this project we arranged for the teams to meet up with a large group (33 people) of older people and their carers at the Victory Church Centre in Govan on Wednesday.

At this event, we handed the agenda over to the students who worked in their themed groups and who brought a range of tools and ideas to use to engage with people. The older people and their carers brought a fantastic sense of humour, energy and willingness to share (for which we are incredibly grateful!). Bringing older and younger people together in purposeful, mutually beneficial activities helped to promote greater understanding and respect between the groups.

The students took away a lot of knowledge of information and really learned from the wealth of experience that was in the room. The exposure to a range of different people and perspectives and thinking about how to mediate the differences between these engagements has made for an intense few days for the teams; but there is definitely a sense of momentum for the project going forward.

From my point of view, what was wonderful, was to see the little buds of relationships beginning to form between people as discussions progressed. Many of the participants agreed to follow up their conversations with the students after the session, and lots of people committed to coming along to the student presentations (critical assessments).

The students will be documenting their interactions – including where they’ve been, what they’ve done and seen, and their reflections on this blog.  IRISS is providing some evidence support to the students throughout the project, but the teams would would welcome any suggestions, points of interest and ideas etc from any blog readers. Feel free to share any nuggets of information here.

Many thanks to the three carers centres in the south of Glasgow who helped spread the word about the event: Greater Pollock Carers Centre (Princes Royal Trust), South East Carers Centre (The Dixon Community) and  Glasgow South West Carers Centre (Quarriers).