Co-production pilot in Toomebridge

Community Development and Health Network (CDHN) and Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council together with people from the Toomebridge area have been involved in a socially innovative co-production project.
Since October 2015 Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council through its Joint Working Arrangements Steering Group (JWA) with the Public Health Agency (PHA) and Northern Health and Social Care Trust (NHSCT) and the Northern Health and Social Care Board (NHSCB) have been investing in a co-production pilot in Toomebridge. This project has been developed over a period of 2 years it has a co-production focus and has relied on 6 principles of co-production throughout its development.

  • Recognising people as assets
  • Building on people’s existing capabilities
  • Promoting mutuality and reciprocity
  • Developing peer networks
  • Breaking down barriers between professionals and recipients
  • Facilitating rather than delivering

The project has engaged with 29 people some of whom had little or no previous involvement within their community. Through CDHN’s Community Health Champion programme the group have gone on to establish themselves as the Duneane Collective. This training programme was the catalyst that brought the community and statutory partners together. They built trust and relationships began to develop which has enabled the community to view The Council differently but also how they see their role within the community and their relationships to each other. It has demonstrated to the The Council and other statutory partners that there is great merit in engaging with communities differently.
The Duneane Collective have developed an asset map of their area, a health and wellbeing catalogue, established a Timebanking working group, organised a community spirit day, managed their own budget and designed their own logo and vision statement. They are currently planning ways in which they can address health and wellbeing issues that they as a group have identified as important for their community.

Collective member comment on their involvement in co-production pilot.

“You can be part of the solution to some of the problems in your area as opposed to accepting the status quo…….it has given me hope…..”


Launching the Open Government Network Wales

by Jetske Germing
I’ve recently been appointed as Open Government Network Officer for Wales, based at WCVA. A new project, the Open Government Pioneers Project has been set up to build the capacity of people and civil society across the United Kingdom to contribute and input to policy-making and service delivery in progressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and in Wales, the Future Generations Goals.
The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), in partnership with the Wales Council for Voluntary Organisations (WCVA), Involve, and Northern Ireland Environment Link, has been awarded a £500k Big Lottery Fund grant to work together over two years to support people to engage and challenge their governments to serve them better. There will be a particular focus in supporting people who are not normally heard in the decisions that affect them, and the connection between citizens and devolved governments of the UK home nations – not just Westminster.

Only a short while into the project I feel grateful to have had a high profile opportunity to launch the Open Government Pioneers project in Wales on the 7th March at the gofod 3 event. The panel discussion chaired by Anna Nicholl, Director of Strategy and Sector Development at WCVA started with an introduction to the panel’s work in relation to Open Government and their hopes for the Open Government Pioneers Network in Wales. Panel members included Owain Ap Gareth, Electoral Reform Society, Caren Fullerton, Chief Digital Officer Welsh Government, Kevin Davies, Head of Engagement National Assembly Wales and Peter Davies, Chair of WCVA Trustee Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development and Chair of the Customer Challenge Group Dwr Cymru. For a summary of the discussion please see

If you are interested in being part of the Open Government Pioneers Network Wales, please do connect with us. Our next steps will be to establish the priorities for the Network, with input from Third Sector Networks, Government and other sectors.
Open Government Forum
Twitter @opengovcymru