Co-Creating Welfare (CCW)
Gemma Pearce (PI) and Paul Magee
The project is funded by Erasmus+, the EU’s programme for education, training, youth and sport, and involves partners in Denmark, France and Portugal. As this is all about co-creation, we have practiced what we preach and have been talking to people working in welfare from the beginning and will continue to gather feedback along the way. We hope that with our help, welfare organisations across Europe will start putting these methods into action. Everyone should be involved together as a team from the beginning and all the way through.
Visit the CCW website at http://www.ccw-project.eu/.
We believe the co-creation approach works in the welfare sector, pushing forward improvements in organisations which have faced budget cuts and constraints in resources. It could instigate more customised and cost effective solutions and services that fit better with the needs of members of the public. Yet at the moment few welfare organisations have adopted this practice. Those that have incorporated co-creation into their way of working, don’t tend to use it to its full potential, or it is not consistently used across the country. That’s why we’re part of a major project to look at the use of co-creation within welfare organisations and to design a course for people working in the sector to help them implement this style of working.
Needs Analysis (complete):
The first stage of the project was to carry out a scoping exercise to look at how co-creation is used in different organisations across all four countries, including the UK. We asked people across the four countries what they wanted included in a training course and how it could help them. Some people are still not prepared to work in this way because it’s different to how they have always operated. They are a little bit stuck in the mud, shall we say. However, others are leading the way and we want to learn from the great things they are doing and incorporate these into our training. Everyone we spoke to said they’d like more training on how to include people from earlier on in the process and through the whole decision-making journey. They all wanted help to think more about who can be involved and what tools there are to help them. What was evident was there are still many opportunities missed.
Course development and pilot (ongoing):
The first version of this training course has now been developed and we are starting to test it out across the four countries. We will gather feedback from attendees and trainers along the way to continue to improve this course. One of the key elements of the course will be its flexibility. It will be internationally relevant and suitable for any welfare organisation, from health care to education. The course is designed as four days, with about a month in between each training day. The idea is that people can have a go at putting the co-creation activities they have learnt into practice during the month between each training day. The contents of the course can also be adapted depending who is attending it. It will be the website that will be the vital tool here; a one-stop-shop providing people with the information they need to help make co-creation work for them. All the training resources will be available online.
End of project conferences:
At the end of the three-year project, which runs until August 2019, we plan to hold a co-creation themed conference in the UK where we will explain what we’ve learnt and how the course will work. We’ll open this out further, inviting others to join in the conference, sharing our ideas about co-creation together. We will also have an end-of-project European conference in Brussels.