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Green and pink balloons sit next to the words 'Our first anniversary 22 October 2021' in white writing, against a turquoise background

Reflecting on our first year: share your highlights

October 6, 2021

In just a few weeks, the Co-production Collective is turning one year old and we want to celebrate with you by reflecting on the last 12 months.

This month marks one whole year since Co-Production Collective was launched and we can’t let it pass by without a celebration! Everyone is welcome to join us on Friday 22 October, 1-3pm, where we’ll be checking in with Our Direction 2020-2022, to see what we have achieved in the past 12 months and where we're headed, as well as much more. If you haven’t already, book your place now!

Though Co-Production Collective may only be one this year, our co-production journey started back in October 2017, with the inception of the UCL Centre for Co-production. We worked on developing the Centre as a mixed group of members of the public, researchers, patients, carers, health care practitioners, charities, local authorities and students - really anyone who was interested in co-production - and three years later almost exactly on the very day, we were ready to unveil our new name, look and strategy!

It’s hard to describe what the launch day meant for all of us, especially since our name and look feels so familiar now. Thankfully, there were plenty of blogs written leading up to the event as well as summarising it afterwards, plus the entire event was recorded and can be viewed in full, so there’s lots of nostalgia to look back on!

In a way, it was lucky that the launch event had to be online; at least finding a big enough venue for hundreds of co-producers was not issue and we could bring people together from across the country - and the globe. We’re still co-producing together online a year later and as we did before, though we can't promise anything quite as exciting as our launch, we’re co-creating the event itself with a group of co-producers.

How was the year for you?

One year is a long time to summarise in just one sentence, one feeling, or one image. This is why we’d like to co-produce a collection of highlights to celebrate our first birthday as Co-Production Collective. To do this, we need to hear from you! We’d love to know your ‘best bits’ from the past year, both relating to Co-Production Collective and more generally.

To get you started, our anniversary planning team (co-producers Judy, Sylvia, Al and Rory) have suggested some questions you might want to consider:

  1. What was co-producing like in the last 12 months? What stands out for you? 
  2. What was your most memorable co-production moment, whether with Co-Production Collective or others? 
  3. Are there any big takeaways for you from this past year? Anything you learned or realised? 
  4. Did anything unexpectedly good happen in this (very unusual) past year? 

You can answer these, or you can share anything else about your experience this past year. The board of sticky notes below shows the questions in orange and some example highlights from Al, Sylvia and Judy in blue. You will probably have completely different responses – there are no wrong answers!

A board of sticky notes with prompt questions (in orange) and examples (in blue) from Al, Judy, Sylvia and Rory.
A plain text version of this image is available at the end of this blog.

We’ll bring all the highlights you share together into a scrapbook of memories from Co-Production Collective’s first year, which we’ll publish here on our website.

How to share your highlights

You can email us at to share your highlights. This can be a sentence or two, any images, documents, or drawings that capture your past 12 months as a co-producer.

We’ll also be celebrating and share our highlights on social media, using the hashtag #CoProHighlights leading up to the birthday event as well as on the big day. So, if you are posting your highlight on Twitter, be sure to use this hashtag and tag us @UCL_CoPro so we can see it. You can also send us a direct message.  

Our anniversary event is on Friday 22 October so you can send your highlights in advance and/or share them during the celebrations. We’re really looking forward to reflecting on the past year – and looking forward to the next – with you and the whole Co-Production Collective community.

Plain text for image

  1. What was it like co-producing in the last 12 months? What stands out most for you? (orange post-it)
    Example (blue post-it): Sudden need for more help during the pandemic, more focus on local community
    Example (blue post-it): The word co-production is branded everywhere, they might think they're doing co-production but they are not.
    Example (blue post-it): It became easier to say what you need. People now seem more open to co-production.

  2. What was the most memorable moment for you when co-producing with us or other groups since October 2020? (orange post-it)
    Example (blue post-it): In between local patient group meetings we started using a Whatsapp group chat to stay in touch and it snowballed into a more local form of support.
  3. Any big takeaways for you this past year? Anything you learned or realised? (orange post-it)
    Example (blue post-it): Every day you are constantly learning, about barriers, what co-production actually is.

  4. Anything unexpectedly good happen during this very unusual past year for you? (orange post-it)
    Example (blue post-it): Having a respite from socialising. Making an effort of getting back into a swing of normality is now something I appreciate.

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