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Cheers to August: monthly team update

August 12, 2021

This month’s update introduces our brand new team members Shaun and Tamanna! They’ve joined us to work on our Hearing Checks project with NHS England and NHS Improvement. Find out more about them and the project below, as well as an update on our wider funding situation.



I’m Shaun and I've joined Co-Production Collective from elsewhere within UCL. I’m looking forward to working with the small but perfectly formed team in partnership with NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Having only gone to university at the age of 46, (but still managing to be the first in my family as my eldest son went the year after), I went on to complete a MA in Social Justice and Education at UCL and then began a PhD looking into the transitions from primary to secondary schools indifferent socioeconomic areas in England. The research was based on the views of the pupils involved in the move from Year 6 to Year 7. It was the involvement of young people and the sense of possible injustices in the system that first piqued my interest in applying for my new role.

Outside of work I enjoy watching live music (I live in Bristol and the city has a fantastic selection of small venues), watching live sport (especially Wolverhampton Wanderers), and going out eating and drinking with my wife now that our 4 children have left home!

Selfie of Shaun, smiling and wearing what looks like a cowboy hat. He's wearing a bright green t-shirt.
Meet our new team member, Shaun!


I’m Tamanna from Kent, and I’ve been involved in the youth, community and voluntary sector for over 17yrs. I’ve held positions locally, regionally, nationally and in Europe, and campaigned on issues including mental health, bullying and racism.  

I am passionate about co-production and have been involved with many projects, such as the NHS London and Healthy London Partnership developing the NHS Go app for young people, the NHS Citizen Assembly, Rethink’s Step Up: Transitions mental health project for 16-25 year olds in London, Time to Change, Mind, YoungMinds, Fixers UK, Safe for Kent and more. Fun fact: I was the girl in the middle with the viral selfie with two world leaders Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron!  I also sometimes like eating curry for breakfast…

I believe co-production should be ingrained in all aspects of day-to-day life and work and joined Co-Production Collective as I think working together equally for inclusive health research and developing services should be the way forward. I’ve worked with children and young people with physical and mental health issues and disabilities and want to help them be more involved and access services. I want to help ensure we can reach as many young people as possible with their hearing checks.  

The core values of the Co-Production Collective of being human, inclusive, transparent and challenging are the same as mine. I’ve spent decades working with all people from different backgrounds in collaborative, inclusive and diverse ways and want to do more in this role, supporting the co-production of innovative new approaches.  I would like to make a real difference and learn as I go along.

Another hat wearer, this time it is a selfie of Tamanna, posing with a fedora.
Hello from Tamanna!

Hearing Checks Project

This project supports a priority in the NHS Long Term Plan aimed at improving health outcomes for children and young people with a learning disability and autistic children and young people.  Similar work is already ongoing to support access to dental and vision checks in England.

The project involves bringing together stakeholders in each NHS region, to co-produce what a good hearing check may look like for children and young people in residential special schools. This includes involving children and young people, parent carers, school staff, health care professionals such as audiologists and researchers, to support the development of pilot projects to assess the model’s impact and appropriateness.  

We’re still in the early phases of our work but things are already moving along! Working closely with the team from NHS England and NHS Improvement, we’ve been feeding into a working group formed of representatives who have varied backgrounds, including people with lived and learned experiences to co-produce at a strategic level.

At the end of July, we brought together mixed groups from the South East, South West and London for an online meeting to explore how the next stages of the project should develop. As a result, planning is well underway for a series of Sharing Ideas events to take place in each of these regions over the next few months. Discussions and feedback from these events will help form the teams and set the basis for co-producing hearing check pilots in residential special schools. Alongside organising these events, we’re also starting our scoping work to begin the same process in the other four NHS regions.

We’re really excited to be part of a project which will hopefully make a real difference to the health of children and young people. If you’d like to find out more then please do get in touch:

For more information about the sensory work that NHS England and NHS Improvement are doing, visit this website.

And finally… some funding news!

We’re delighted to say that, separate to this project, we’ve secured continuation funding from UCL’s Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF)! This covers some of our staff costs until September 2022 so we can continue co-ordinating, developing and co-creating Co-Production Collective with you, right through to the end of our current strategy (Our Direction 2020-2022).

This also helps give us some stability to continue working towards our ‘Planning for the Future’ ambition in that strategy, securing our financial sustainability beyond September 2022 through consultancy, partnerships, funding applications, research project support and training delivery. If you’re interested in working with us or would like to find out more about how we can support you, then drop us a line:

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