On the 6th-12th July, the UK celebrated Co-production Week 2020, with charities and organisations across the country sharing their approaches to community co-production, and how it works for them.

To mark the occasion, A Better Start Southend teamed up with SAVS and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council to bring Southend professionals and residents a programme packed full of activities and insightful discussions. At the beginning of the week, we heard about the co-production journey within Southend so far, and where we are headed next, with a panel comprising of Jeff Banks, A Better Start Southend Director, Kristina Jackson, CEO of SAVS, Joanna Ruffle, Strategic Director for Transformation at Southend Borough Council, and Stephen Meah-Sims, Head of Corporate Strategy at Southend Borough Council. Jeff Banks said of the session:

“A year on from our conference ‘Who’s the Expert? – Innovation in Co-production and Service’ we decided to bring people back together to pick up on the conversation started back then, mark progress and plot our next steps. It is clear that the concept of co-production has now firmly taken hold in the Borough, and we have learnt of some fantastic examples of good practice in designing services with citizens. But whilst Kristina, Joanna, Stephen and I are extremely proud of the progress achieved so far, we recognise we are only at the beginning of the journey. Opportunities like these at Southend Co-Production Week, where we return to these themes and build partnerships between our communities will be essential if we are to succeed in our vision of ensuring citizens are at the heart of services”.

Another fascinating, collaborative session came on Thursday 9th July, with Jessica Russell, our Co-production Champion facilitating a discussion around the principles of co-production, and what it takes to successfully co-produce a service. Residents and professionals from across the borough came together to discuss ideas and agreed the ways in which co-production in Southend should be approached. Jessica Russell said of the session:

“It’s been a joyful experience to spend time listening to such rich conversations about co-production in Southend-on Sea during Co-production Week. With over 150 people signing up to be part of the week, it just shows the real interest there is in working together to contribute to our community and quality of life.”

Joanne Webb a Parent Champion with ABSS and YMCA Breastfeeding peer supporter attended all nine sessions and said:

“Wow, what a week and a bit! Congratulations #Southend #coproductionweek2020 was amazing. So many conversations and so much to come. Looking forward to seeing what the coming year has in store!

Benedict Leigh, Director of Commissioning, SBC said “I think [co-production] isabout creating a shared culture of working and thinking together”

If you attended any of the Co-production Week sessions and would like to provide feedback, you can do so by emailing abetterstart@savs-southend.co.uk

For more information about how we are adopting co-production within A Better Start Southend, visit https://abetterstartsouthend.co.uk/co-production/


  1. Emma Jiao-Knuckey says:

    Wonderful to see how A Better Start Southend is flourishing!

  2. Better Start says:

    Thank you very much for the support Emma!

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