The Co-Production Collective wanted to explore people’s lived experiences of co-production within health and social care research. Working with People’s Voice Media, they used Community Reporting – a pan-European storytelling movement that supports people to use digital technologies to tell their own stories – to capture a series of dialogue interviews with people who identified as ‘co-producers’. These co-producers come from different sectors, work on different projects, and participate in different ways in co-production.

The key findings that emerged from this piece of work are:

  • Co-production should be approached as a practice governed by a set of values, rather than an exact science or process.
  • Co-production can bring real value to research projects and be key to ensuring that services are more effective and better meet the needs of the people who access them.
  • Co-production can be challenging but with support and encouragement, embracing continual and shared learning and by creating spaces for co-producers to connect, barriers can be overcome.


Some of our projects, particularly our European ones, are catching back up after being delayed for so long due to the pandemic. One of these is Co-Engage, an Erasmus+ project designed to contribute to the development of co-creation skills enabling citizens to become social innovators. Part of the project is a series of labs, the first of which takes place at the end of March in a digital form.

We’re looking for a volunteer to attend from the comfort of their own home, with the chance to network with organisations from across Europe as well as learning a thing or two about co-creation practices. A member of the PVM team will also be in attendance. Details of the lab are below:

Topic: Co-discovery.

Overall Goal: Experimenting and testing old practices and new models, focussing on generating participation of citizens as co-implementers and activating people.

Lab Umbrella Topic: Fashion Consumption and Textile Waste problem in cities.

Organisers and facilitators: Future Fashion Forward and Comparative Research Network.

Day 1 – Monday 22nd March 2021 / 9am to 12pm GMT

Day 2 – Tuesday 23rd March 2021 / 1pm to 4pm GMT

Day 3 – Wednesday 24th March 2021 / Self-learning day

Day 4 – Monday 29th March 2021 / 9am to 11.30am GMT & 1pm to 3.30pm GMT

Day 5 – Tuesday 30th March 2021 / 1pm to 4pm GMT

Each of the days presents opportunity for learning, co-creating and networking with a blend of presentations and group work on a variety of challenges, with a fuller agenda being available nearer the time.

A small accessibility bursary is available for each of the days to help meet access costs.

If you are interested in volunteering to take part and have availability on the specified dates, email Sarah at PVM by Thursday 11th March.


All too often, women’s voices can go unheard. At People’ Voice Media, we have been working with a women’s group who form part of Inspiring Change Manchester and for the past few months, since the autumn we have been helping the group to use storytelling and Community Reporting practices to dig a bit deeper, find out more and explore the question; ‘What Matters to Women?’

The insight stories that were gathered by the group touched upon many different aspects of life as a woman and following the Community Reporter training, we worked together to explore the key themes and topics through sense-making sessions and in order to discover what were the aspects that mattered the most to those taking part. 

As part of a celebratory event at Christmas, we helped the group to put together an edited video which captures some of these women’s thoughts and experiences and with International Women’s Day coming up on 8th March, we don’t think there’s been a better time to share it wider. 

We encourage everyone to join in the conversation by considering the question; ‘What Matters to Women?’

You can watch the video HERE


We are currently working with Barnsley Museums to explore how Community Reporting and lived experience storytelling can support their evaluation activities, and contribute to an their on-going learning and development. As part of this project, a small team from across Barnsley Museums are being trained as Community Reporters and Trainers, and are experimenting with ways that this method can be used to assess the impact of and gather insights into their work. This training is covering a wide range of areas such as storytelling techniques and responsible storytelling practices, media recording skills, story analysis methods, how to package findings as different types of media products, facilitation approaches and how to run knowledge exchange sessions.

We are delivering the training as an applied project in which the Barnsley Museums team are undertaking a bit of insight and development work that they are using to test out their new skills. Over the last few months, part of the team have been busy gathering and analysing stories about staff wellbeing during the pandemic and the rest of the team have been exploring the learning so far from an anti-racism book club they have set-up. The team are currently learning media-making skills such as video editing and graphic design, so that they can package learning from stories different audiences.

Over the next few weeks, the project will be looking at how the insights from the stories can be used to inform practice at Barnsley Museums and beyond, and how Community Reporting can be embedded into the wider evaluation practices of the organisation. More news coming soon!


Over the last few months we have been working with members from different communities in Hulme, Moss Side and Rusholme as part of the #SharingHealth4U project to create and spread health messages around the flu vaccine. In these areas, flu vaccine uptake within some ethnic minority communities had been low and local knowledge pointed to misinformation about the vaccine being a key contributor to this. Therefore, we’ve be working with people and health care professionals to develop accurate health messages to help combat any myths or ‘fake news’ that is out there.

We started in December devising scripts and text for different types of health messages. These included people’s own personal stories about taking the vaccine, healthcare professionals from the affected communities preparing ‘myth buster’ snippets and pointers as to where people can go to find out more. These messages have been recorded in different languages including Bengali, Urdu, French and Arabic and in formats including audio soundbites, short video clips and text messages. People have since been sending these messages out through their personal and professional networks on social media, messaging services and e-mailers and have been logging how effective these grassroots information sharing methods have been.

So far what we have learned is that (a) messaging services such as WhatsApp and plain text messages are having the biggest reach and (b) that the personal stories around the vaccine have been the most positively received. More so, people felt confident sharing the personal stories as they felt they had a legitimacy in sharing these, more so than the more ‘professional’ or ‘conventional’ health messages.

The whole project has been released over Zoom… which has been a little bit of an issue due to differing levels of tech skills in the group, but we are all continuing to pull together to make it work and get the word out there! We’ll report back later in the year on the results of this work and share with you some know-how and learnings on health messaging driven by communities.