Happy 2013: the planets are in alignment, the snail’s on the thorn, the tide is turning, the moon is full and the portents are portentous. It can only mean one thing – a return of the Age of Aquarius (but without the loons and clogs) and the coming of the Co-pro Revolution!
Apologies for the lack of communication via this blog…the Co-pro Resource has become part of a larger project, linked up to All in this Together (AitT) and most of my focus over the past 6 months has been on that. We’ve run conferences, seminars and workshops, given presentations, written papers, sat on steering groups and advisory panels, connected people up with each other, helped to build up the Wales Co-pro Network, organised a visit to the Scottish Government’s delectable, co-pro championing Joint Improvement Team (which included a trip to the wonderful Midlothian Council, and a cracking ‘shared learning’ session with the Scottish Network) and had an entirely splendid time.
Like the Co-pro Resource, All in this Together started life as a voluntary, self-funded organisation run from my kitchen table with the (co-produced) aim of placing co-pro principles at the heart of public services in Wales. And like Topsy, it just growed and growed. Over 450 people from more than 200 organisations are now involved in some way and numbers are still rising. The problem is that we are still doing this on a voluntary basis, still sitting round the kitchen table, and still self-funding. The bigger problem is that my money has run out. Hence the reason for merging the Co-pro Resource project (still intended as an open-access, cross-sector resource) with All in this Together in order to apply for funding from the Big Lottery and Esmee Fairbairn Foundation to establish AitT as an independent, sustainable members’ organization, a one-stop-shop supporting the development of co-production in Wales and beyond.
If you’d like to follow our progress, and/or stay updated about co-pro events, projects, people and policy in Wales, do subscribe to the All in this Together blog. Given the ton of co-pro initiatives, projects and events that are happening in Wales we’re going to be sending out a monthly Co-pro Newsletter starting in March, to keep you up-to-date with the latest excitements. The Newsletter will be sent from firstname.lastname@example.org – so please check with your organisation whether this will be blocked by your firewall, and add it to your contacts list. If you don’t want to receive the Newsletter you’ll be able to unsubscribe at any time.
Either way, please do keep in touch…would love to know what’s happening with you and to share your successes, ideas, challenges and solutions with the waiting world.
Onward, upward, and outwards! And a little bit sideways.
(but without the loons)