A picture from Rachel’s trip – beautiful mountains in Alaska with a sign for Southcentral Foundation.

Planning the Centre’s Future Together

This blog is written by Rachel Matthews about how she’s settling in at the UCL Centre for Co-production in Health research and looking forward to co-producing the Centre’s business model with our community. There’s also some special news from Niccola!


Times flies and the seasonal change in weather is definitely underway. After a few weeks finding my feet I’m really pleased to be joining the Centre and starting the work to develop its long term future. It was great to meet old and new faces at the Evaluation Co-creation Session held on 26 September. The depth of reflection at our discussions in September and the rich knowledge that was shared between us reinforced to me the value of co-production.

Speaking of new faces – exciting news from Niccola! Her son Ishé (pronounced e-shay) has arrived. Both she and him are doing well. Congratulations, Niccola! We’re sending a warm welcome to Ishé from all of us.

Picture of Niccola's babby, Ishe, with his dad

Ishé hanging out with his dad at 5 days old. So sweet!

As I get started with the Centre, I’ve been taking inspiration from a recent trip I took. In June, I visited a not for profit healthcare organisation in the US that provides care with the Native Alaskan population in Anchorage. At the Southcentral Foundation co-production is at the heart of their Nuka system of care which was developed in response to discrimination experienced by the Native Alaskans and to address health inequalities. I took part in their Core Concepts training which everyone completes when they join the organisation. This training develops valuable interpersonal, communication and story-telling skills that are essential for people to work respectfully together and share responsibility. Central to the training are learning circles which help people to connect and build relationships focused on physical and mental wellbeing. This approach could be used for all sorts of topics and issues. I’m curious to see how I can bring what I learned into my work here.

Now that I’m settling in, I’m looking forward to working with our community to plan for the Centre’s future. In the next year we’ll continue developing the long term vision of the Centre ahead of its launch in 2020. One way you can get involved in this is to apply to join our allies group. As a community, we’ll also be working on creating a business model for the Centre that will align with ‘Our principles that we want to live by’(PDF), including sustainability, addressing power imbalances, and being inclusive. If you’re curious about this process and interested in being involved, email me Rachel.Matthews@ucl.ac.uk. I’d love to collaborate on this so I’ll highlight opportunities to get involved as they come up.

There is lots happening between now and Christmas so Susan, Lizzie and I will make sure you are kept up to date with developments and opportunities – starting with those mentioned in our ‘what’s next’ blog.


If you’d like to keep hearing about whatr we’re up to and what we’re learning at the UCL Centre for Co-production in Health Research, sign up for our newsletter, email us  coproduction@ucl.ac.uk or tweet us @UCL_CoPro

Feel free to email Susan at coproduction@ucl.ac.uk if you’d like a pdf or word copy of this blog.