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A collage of five photos, showing Isaac, Donna, Mark, David, and Niccola

Values-based co-production: from chit chat to everyday reality

June 11, 2021

Earlier this month, the 3rd annual Institute of Community Reporters (ICR) Conference was held, and Co-Production Collective took part by hosting a workshop of our own titled ‘Values based co-production: from chit chat to everyday reality’. The session involved us discussing how we can make decisions as a community in a way that embodies our values. Our workshop was part of a special portion of the conference called ‘The Future of Lived Experience Storytelling’. To apply for this opportunity, we responded to a call for workshops that was advertised in April.

The Institute of Community Reporters (ICR) was founded by People’s Voice Media in 2012 and is the overarching entity that supports the Community Reporter movement. We were very excited to contribute to the conference and collaborate once again with People’s Voice Media: back in February, we launched our CoPro Stories report which was made possible by the Community Reporting that they carried out.


A diagram showing the cycle of community reporting. At the top is gathering stories which leads to curating stories and then mobilising stories.
Community Reporting has three distinct components – story gathering, story curation and story mobilisation. You can find out more about this process in this brochure.


Hi everyone! My name is Donna. I have a condition called Cerebral Palsy with mild learning difficulties. My values in life are to treat everybody with respect and each day as if it is a school day because you learn something new every day. I decided to be part of this session in relation to Co-Production Collective as I’m very interested in meeting new people and listening to their lived experiences and thoughts they’ve come up with.

For me, the Institute of Community Reporters Conference was an amazing day. Starting at 9:15am, I attended the Morning Mixer on Zoom, which was great as I met a few new people and I even saw them later on again throughout the day! My next session was at 10am and was a livestream on YouTube listening other people’s life stories. This was good for me, as the only disabled member of my family I can sometimes feel quite alone. So, listening to other people’s stories was really comforting and really opened my eyes and brightened up my day. I just wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone who facilitated that session!

Then at 2pm, it was the turn of some of us from Co-Production Collective to facilitate the session. I got to speak to everyone that attended the session and really enjoyed speaking in it. Please feel free to have a read some of the thoughts that came up during the discussion. I also collected some thoughts from the breakout room that I facilitated with IT support from Nicc as the Jamboard system is completely new to me! #EVERYDAYISASCHOOLDAY

At 4pm it was another livestream for me on YouTube where facilitators got together to share thoughts and round up the day. Also during the livestream, we heard an inspirational poem from one of speakers who's name I'm really sorry to say I have forgotten as there was many great videos shared with us during the livestream. It was a lovely way bring the event to a close just before 5pm when it was party time on Zoom: we got together to have some giggles and sing a song for someone! It was great to see again some of the faces of people I met throughout the day. Many thanks, one and all!


A collage of the team hosting the workshop: Donna, Isaac, David, Mark, and Niccola
The team behind the 'Values-based co-production' workshop: Donna, Isaac, Niccola, David, and Mark


It’s always great getting an email from the Co-Production Collective, especially when it’s asking for help co-facilitating a session on something as important as the values of co-production, and more importantly the values of our Collective.

The four values that have been co-produced with other members in 2020 are now shining as part of the website of the Collective, and also as an integral part of everything we do… In fact, here’s a little poem:

C is for Challenging but do it so nicely,
H is for Human that’s the people we are,
I is for Inclusive a Community as a whole,
T is for Transparent, agenda free we’ll go far,
Values of the Collective,
Thought-out and produced together,
Values to live by, Values That work.


The session was divided up as a 'where-what-how' look at the values, and all the facilitators were assigned a value to discuss. I was lucky to get ‘Transparent’. However, within our breakout rooms we did deviate somewhat to discuss mostly all the values because they are all very real, fluid and encompass what we want to achieve. We agreed that having these values is a starting block for real meaningful co-production and proper blank page involvement.

My group was exceptional with the 'Transparent' value, all felt that it underpinned a proper working relationship and that it is also a key to open and visible working. We also looked how the transparent approach garners more accountability within co-producers.

As with all good sessions on co-production, it was over too quickly. I think we could spend at least a couple of hours on each value, really in-depth analysing what each value means to all of us. That’s the real knowledge that I think we all gained: the values of the Co-production Collective are unique to oneself and that approach is the best way of co-production. Not becoming tired but reinvigorating itself with everyone who uses them.

Get involved!

The session only lasted an hour, but there is still time to join the discussion! We would love it if you wanted to add to our Jamboard - please add a sticky note with your thoughts about our values and how we can bring them to life in the way we make decisions. In case you haven't used Jamboard before, please feel free to watch this video about how to add sticky notes to Jamboard for advice.

If you would like to contribute to our blogs about your co-production journey like Mark and Donna did, please get in touch with us either here on our website, on Twitter, or email us directly at

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