It’s National Co-production Week: 3-7 July

Co-production is an approach where the people we support, their families, and professionals work together to plan, develop, deliver and evaluate social care services.

This year, the theme of National Co-production Week is co-production in the real world. 

We celebrate the benefits of co-production and the contribution of the people who use our services and carers in developing better services.

What is co-production?

How we do co-production at Grace Eyre

Co-production is everywhere at Grace Eyre. Additionally, a team in our charity called Our Voices supports autistic people and people with a learning disability to have their voices heard and to be involved in Grace Eyre and the wider community. Here are a few examples:

Our Charter

Our Charter was developed because Ambassadors in the Our Voices team wanted a written document that stated exactly what people we support wanted from their lives. By speaking to over 150 people we support, staff, trustees, families and carers, Our Charter was created which then became our organisational mission. We now work together to achieve Our Charter and judge ourselves against this.

Developing co-production training for our staff

To further embed the Grace Eyre vision and mission, Fran and Cleo are developing co-production training for our wider staff training programme. This work changes the dynamic between service user and service provider, which creates shared ownership of services.

Becky’s Story

Becky is someone we support. She produced a film together with a researcher from the University of Brighton. The film highlights the challenges faced by adults with learning disabilities when using public transport. Becky travelled to Canada to talk about her achievements and frustrations when travelling by bus. Many other people were keen to participate in similar research when they heard what Becky was able to do.

Purple Clubhouse

Purple Clubhouse is Grace Eyre’s monthly club night. There are DJs (who have a learning disability), dancing, games and a bar.  The club is co-produced, meaning that it’s organised each month by a committee of people with learning disabilities, alongside someone without a learning disability.

They all work together to plan it, and to ensure that everything goes smoothly on the night. The committee have built a brilliant format for organising and running the club, and they’ve been doing it successfully for many years. They work to each other’s strengths, they’re organised and they support each other.

Trustee training for people with a learning disability and/or autism

Trustees are the people in charge of a charity. They play a very important role, volunteering their time and working together to make important decisions about a charity’s work.

Grace Eyre currently has 2 trustees with a learning disability who help to lead our organisation, but we realised that there were no accessible training courses available designed to support people with a learning disability and/or autism who wanted to become trustees. So we developed one!

So far we have had 13 people attend the pilot sessions and full training programme. One person has become a Grace Eyre Trustee and 1 has become a Trustee for our friends at Speak Out Brighton & Hove! We intend to co-deliver this training again in October 2023 with Grace Eyre trustees with lived experience.

If your organisation is looking for accessible training for people you support who want to become trustees, get in touch with Cleo Dibb, User Involvement Manager, at or on 07921 095 492.

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