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Danny’s story

In this story, Danny explains how co-production has had a positive effect on him, his work and what he will do in the future.

Reading Level: Beginner
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Co-production is personal, very different to a traditional model of working. Instead of professionals making decisions on behalf of other people, everybody instead works together on an equal basis to create a service or decision that they all agree on.


At its centre is an organisational shift in power dynamics to create an equal relationship between the people who use services and those who provide them.


We wanted to understand how working in this way affects Disabled people directly. So we spoke with Danny Lloyd, a member of the Get Yourself Active sounding board group and the Moving Social Work co-production group, to better understand how working like this impacts Disabled people.

Getting involved

Danny first got introduced to co-production through working with us at Get Yourself Active. He had always been passionate about getting active, telling us that “he had lived in the gym” when he was younger. It was this which drew him to the social work training project.


Danny began working with us on the Moving Social Work programme last year. He has worked alongside the group to create resources and co-produce strategies for the education of the social workers of today and tomorrow. 

You can learn more about the programme here.


He had never participated in a co-produced project before, so the experience was initially quite novel for Danny. He “didn’t even know it was a thing”, and just like so many Disabled people, he was very used to having work dictated to him. 


He had found the traditional way of working very frustrating. His work or external projects often felt like “school” where he had little input. With those, he felt there was little room for new ideas or discussion, and he had been yearning for a chance to work differently. 


It’s a shame that it took so long, especially when it came to being active – something he cares about so much.

The power of a new model

As we know, co-production supports people to use their own experiences and capacity to influence. It blurs the boundaries between professionals and people who use services to share power more equally.


We believe that when services are genuinely co-produced, they work better. They make the most of the shared expertise of the professionals who work there and the people who have experience of using them.


In practice, the less formal, flatter structure that co-production uses was rewarding for Danny. Despite it being an entirely new concept for him, it quickly became second nature. He described it as empowering, helping build confidence not just in him but also in the other Disabled people who worked to co-produce solutions in the project.


True co-production means that everyone is on an equal footing. No one type of experience is more important than another. The result is better outcomes and mutual benefit for all involved.


“There’s such a broad mix, everyone can help each other, and it’s given me a much broader perspective”. Working in this new way has been empowering for Danny.

Changed for good

Co-production is special because it can have so many benefits. The people who use your services can feel empowered and increase their skills. It also means your organisation can run services that work for people and result in better outcomes.


Talking to people like Danny who participate makes it clear how much of a difference it can make. It’s not just been refreshing for him, but he now feels like his opinion and experience matter.


And it’s not just a one-off. Since working with us at Get Yourself Active he has been taking part more, helping other organisations create strategies or new services.


Ultimately that’s the power of the co-production model. As Danny explained so clearly, “lived experience is valued so much more … [it means] these projects have an impact on people’s lives”.


It can feel like there is a lot to get your head around if you’re starting out on your co-production journey.

Next Steps

We want to hear from you! 

We’d love for you to share your experiences of getting active and having fun wherever you are. Please do get in touch to share your thoughts on the latest news or what sport and physical activity mean to you.

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