This week is National Co-production Week, and we’re sharing some of the ways in which Hft and the people we support work in partnership to make sure that people supported by the charity are involved in their own support, and in championing meaningful change that contributes to better learning disability services.

Photo of Amy GordonWe asked Amy Gordon, Hft’s Involvement Programme Coordinator some questions about her and her role and what Involvement at Hft looks like:

How long have you worked for Hft?

I started at Hft two years ago. This was a new role within Hft and a really exciting opportunity to drive forward involvement across the organisation.

What got you interested in involvement/co-production originally?

I’m passionate about diversity, equality, inclusion and human rights which are all central to involvement/co-production. Being an involvement lead means I get to use that passion to find ways for people to speak up about their own life and experiences and the services they receive, and become strong advocates.

If you had to explain what your job was all about to someone in just a few sentences, how would you describe it?

I support and grow opportunities for the people we support to be actively involved in shaping their own support from Hft, the services they receive from Hft, our work as an organisation and our external voice. It’s about finding genuine ways to be involved, not just to listen to the people we support but to come together.

Which involvement-related projects or achievements are you most proud of?

It’s been brilliant working with people we support to grow the national Voices to be Heard forum meet ups. I’m so proud of the members who host the events, for their commitment and hard work and how much they have grown in confidence.

What does the future of involvement at Hft look like?

Our plans for the next year include getting creative to involve more people we support in the recruitment and appraisal of staff, expanding our national Voices to be Heard meet ups into the south east, encouraging greater input from people we support in our fundraising, and involving people in quality monitoring our services.

There’s a real commitment to involving people from Trustees, senior leaders and staff teams, so the future of involvement at Hft is looking bright and full (and busy!)

If you were able to have the whole country’s attention for 20 seconds to talk about involvement, what would you say?

The disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on people with a learning disability has really highlighted the need to involve both people with learning disabilities and carers in shaping and improving social care services.

Find out more about involvement at Hft.