Speakers smiling at cameraThis week we celebrated our first year of our Co-production strategy as part of National Co-production Week 2023. We presented a Co-production Conference at the Balmoral Training Centre, Belfast to discuss the benefits of co-production, sharing good practice and to promote the contribution of people who use our services and our staff teams.

What did the day involve?

Johny Turnbull, Head of Organisational Development, opened the conference with an introduction to Co-production and Kelly Devlin, Director of Operations: Living Options, explained Cedar’s Co-production Strategy. The event continued with Rhona McAuley, Organisational Development Manager, describing how Co-production works in the real world through examples of the positive impact of completed and ongoing projects. Members from the Regional User Forum and Living Options delivered exceptional presentations in person and through recorded video presentations. In addition, participants from our Employability and Community Inclusion Directorate (ECI) provided extensive feedback in the form of quotes.

Participants included many quotes about how and what Co-production offers including:

Audience looking at camera smiling

"I think it's very important to ask for the service user's involvement because each of us still has value and purpose.  Although our lives may have changed due to a head injury (in different ways for eg not working) Many times people do not understand the impact of head injury and our experiences and journeys need to be shared, especially to those who are thinking of working with Cedar or other similar organisations."    

Another point was made regarding what Co-production means to those involved:

“It is good to be involved in co-production because WE are included from the very beginning. It makes us feel connected & EQUAL.”

Emma, ECI Staff member said:

“As an employee of the Cedar Foundation, I firmly believe in the power of co-production, as it fosters a sense of collaboration, inclusivity and innovation within our organisation. By actively involving service users and employees in the decision-making processes, it empowers individuals to become active participants in shaping their own support and enables us to create a culture of mutual respect, understanding, and shared responsibility.” 

Elaine Armstrong, CEO, explains:

“User involvement and co-production informs all that we do in Cedar. Our Service Users and User Forum are integral to our design, delivery and governance of Cedar.”


Living Options group smiling at camera.An overview of the upcoming co-production work was provided and closing remarks brought the event to an end. We would like to thank everyone involved and look forward to keeping you informed about future co-production developments.