Carry on co-producing: handy hints and tips to help you out
By Rory, on 6 May 2020
This blog shares ways you can co-produce from home and keep the momentum going while the COVID-19 pandemic forces us to stay indoors.
In our previous blog, we shared quick tips to help you stay in touch with family and friends during lockdown. Today, we dive deeper into the nitty-gritty of virtual co-production, listing handbooks we have found useful, some training courses to try out, info on accessibility and some online events you might be interested in. Hopefully it will be helpful whether you are starting out co-producing virtually or if you want to polish up on your existing skills and knowledge!
- The Definitive Guide To Facilitating Remote Workshops is a free downloadable handbook from MURAL, which is also a digital collaborative tool, basically a virtual whiteboard.
- The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NVCO) has compiled resources for charities in their coronavirus information pages. And… they have some really useful info, e-learning courses etc. on their Knowhow resources page (which are free at the moment so get in quick!).
- Many handy tips have been shared about virtual meetings in the ‘Lessons on running a big interactive Zoom meeting: Reflections on planning and running the Charities Research Involvement Group meeting on 18th March 2020’ document.
All courses are free unless otherwise stated.
Video calls / digital technology
- Zoom is offering a free starting guide covering all features of their platform.
- GEVME have free webinars available on How to start running your virtual event and there is also a list of upcoming digital event webinars.
- Ed Moss is holding a free course on how to get to grips with video gatherings for people who are new to online meetings. There is also a tutorial specifically on how to use Microsoft Teams for hosting a Live Event.
- And for those of us who want to be reborn this year as technology wizards, a whole range of courses are provided by Google on digital technology.
Marketing / advertising
- If you are putting on an event and want to advertise, you can learn the basics of using Twitter strategically, from Twitter’s own Marketing Manager, or you can go further by building an engaged community on Instagram or even creating an entire social media marketing strategy.
- To reach those stakeholders who do have access to the internet, try out a free course on email marketing or learn how to write persuasive essays and posts with a free course called Make Your Voice Heard, designed for activists advocating for a political or social issue.
Community organising and wellbeing
- Find out how to support others through lockdown with the Thrive in Trying Times free course, covering a range of tips for community organising and maintaining well-being during COVID-19.
- Discussing healthcare can be intimidating with all the complex structures and jargon flying around during meetings. This free course from The Kings Fund gives you a detailed understanding of the NHS – it’s definitely worth checking out!
- If you are feeling especially creative, learn how to create a Zine! It’s not just art, it’s an informative and creative piece of marketing that you can distribute, which is useful for reaching people who are not able to connect with you digitally.
- Understanding each other is essential for sharing power within teams and a vital part of any meaningful co-production. However, online communication is not second nature to us all. It can be draining and even counter-productive, so before starting a marathon of video calls, the first step is to learn how to say what we mean and hear what others are saying. The basics of emotional intelligence at work and the power of active listening will no doubt come handy.
- If we want to make lasting social and political change, we must understand power dynamics, systems and what can influence these things and therefore shift the status quo. Make Change Happen is a free online course from Open University and Oxfam.
- Speaking of power… this is one of the most frequently discussed concepts related to co-production, and thankfully there’s a free online course from Open University exploring growing concerns about wealth and income inequality, including potential actions that individuals, communities and wider society can take to reduce inequality.
Just as when you are meeting in person or holding face to face events accessibility is of vital importance.
- Zoom offers a closed captioning tool – this allows people who might be deaf or hard of hearing to have access to the online calls that you run. And also gives your audience the ability to enjoy your content, regardless of the environment they are in.
- There are also useful live note-taking tools such as Otter.ai that you can use to transcribe your conversations or video calls, it works on several different platforms.
- If you are working with people who have a visual impairment it is important that you are using accessible documents that screen readers can interpret. When on video calls making sure that you share documents being used in advance, that you are describing what is on screen, and that you don’t make assumptions about what people know or can see.
- Here at the Centre we are running various virtual sessions starting from May 2020! Sign up for our events by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Conversations on Co-production is an ongoing event series organised by Expert Link
- Co-production Network for Wales have several virtual events coming up
- LockdownLives is a documentary series broadcast on Tuesdays and Fridays at 15:00, to help the broader public understand how lockdown affects those who don’t have their own homes through creative expression, conversation, and advocacy.
Get involved in the UCL Centre for Co-production in Health Research
Email Rory at email@example.com if you’re curious about any of the following opportunities.
- Let us know if you’d like to join in collaborating on our blog! You could share a bit about yourself, share learnings from co-production projects, or let us know if you have any other ideas.
- Send us resources to feature here next month, or tag us on Twitter @UCLCoPro
If you’d like to keep hearing about what 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 Rory firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @UCL_CoPro.
Feel free to email Rory at email@example.com if you’d like a PDF or Word copy of this blog.
(Cover image. Description: a hand holding a set of bright blue and white headphones against a yellow background. Image credit: Alex Gruber)