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UCL Public Engagement Blog



Hello, goodbye and the next steps for UCL Centre for Co-production

By Niccola, on 2 March 2020

Hi there everyone! I’m back. And… Ishé my son is now over 5 months old! Crazy how time flies! Here he is in his big boy highchair!!

Ishé in a highchair holding a purple sipee cup

It’s great to be back, I’m looking forward to really getting stuck into the next phase for the Centre – securing our long term sustainability. This is a big job! One I’m hoping you’ll all join me in working on. I’m starting by collating everything we’ve done as a community to date, all of our work since 2017 including info from the great sessions that have happened whilst I was off. Then once collated I’m going to attempt to turn it into a very draft version of a strategy for the Centre. I will then be in touch to share this so that we can refine it together. This requires maximum focus and Rory (more on her below!) will need a little time to get up to speed once she starts. As such, I’m going to put a hold on sending out more newsletters until April. I’m really sorry about this but rest assured we will be back with bells on from April onwards! If you would like an update in the meantime, have a question or would just like a chat please feel free to email or phone me.

There’s one other thing… I’d like to say a massive thank you to Rachel, Susan and Lizzie for all of their hard work – they’ve done an amazing job! Unfortunately, as we’ll miss them, Susan has now left to go back to Canada and Rachel is off soon to her new role (with an amazing holiday in between! I am not jealous about this at all!!). Lizzie is still very much here though and we had a new project co-ordinator called Rory start last week, she will I’m sure tell you more about herself very soon!

Rachel and Susan asked me to share the below updates from them:


Rachel and Centre co-producer Sudhir creating some impressive lego artwork at the Nov 2019 evaluation co-creation session

Thanks Niccola! Yes time for me to say farewell for now. It has been an immense privilege to hold the reins since October. I’ve met fantastic and committed people who are resourceful and thoughtful in their approach to tackling complex health issues. We have progressed our business development plans by building on all the reflections generated by you and have a much better understanding of how we as individuals, teams and as a wider network make a difference. The task ahead is how to share this value and use the insight to place the Centre on a secure footing beyond 2021. My tip for your next phase is to stay creative and think like entrepreneurs to learn as quickly as possible about what others less familiar with co-production will want to connect with.


Now that I’ve finished my degree (hurray!), I’ve decided it’s time for me to spend some time back home in Toronto. I’m looking forward to having some restful time at home before I figure out my next adventures, but it’s hard to believe my time with the Centre is coming to an end but I know this work is in good hands.

Niccola (left) & Susan (right) waving and smiling, soon after Susan started the role

I’ve been avoiding writing this farewell because that means my role is really almost over! It’s been a wonderful whirlwind learning about co-production with everyone involved in the centre since I started working here late last Spring 2019. I’ve learned so much, and have so much more to learn. Thank you for welcoming me into this work, whether by tweeting hello, saying hi at an event, sharing your co-production tips and stories, or reflecting on your hopes for the Centre. So many people and teams have helped me grapple with everything from big questions about power and fairness in co-production, to the daily tasks of how to do our best to collaborate with what we have. I am excited to see how this community continues develop the centre and support each other in getting involved in co-production. I’ll really miss collaborating with you, though I’ll be cheering you on from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. I’m not posting my personal email online for privacy reasons, but if you’d like to stay in touch or you’ll be stopping through Toronto, feel free to email the Centre (coproduction@ucl.ac.uk) and ask for me. Sappy though it may sound, I may not be here but I know what I’ve learned from this community about the inspiring, challenging and valuable work of co-production will stay with me wherever I go next. Thank you!

Thanks everyone, that’s all for now. We’ll be in touch very soon.

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