Why we’re #AllIn for CoPro: ‘I’m very proud to be part of this’

Co-production Week is all about showcasing examples of CoPro, so let’s talk about All In For Change — a collective created four years ago to challenge the systems built up around homelessness.

The Change Team is made up of people with experience of homelessness, policymakers and frontline workers. If one definition of co-production is “combining everyone’s strengths to achieve positive change”, All In For Change is a great example of putting that principle into real action.

Since 2019 the team has been using its wide-ranging expertise to help achieve objectives set out in the Scottish Government-COSLA Ending Homelessness Together Action Plan.

Change Leads work with decision makers in local and national government to develop policy — one of its biggest successes has been developing prevention duties proposed for public bodies, intended to be written into law in the forthcoming Housing Bill.

Key aims of the programme, facilitated by Homeless Network Scotland, Cyrenians and Scottish Community Development Centre, are bringing about co-ordinated working between different services and ensuring support services take a person-centred approach.

To mark Scottish Co-Production Network’s #CoProWeekScot, Change Leads have shared their experiences of working as part of #AllInForChange — starting with Amanda Rutherford, an Engagement and Assessment worker at Crisis.

I became involved with the Change Team in Autumn 2021. I was intrigued by the concept that, as a frontline worker, I could be part of something that could make a difference to homelessness in Scotland.  Change Leads bring different experiences and knowledge to the table from across the country.

The way the Change Team was created results in an equal and level playing field so that everyone, regardless of their background, has a voice and their opinion is respected. 

Mutual respect and being open to learning leads to a positive environment which enables co-production and lively debate. This has led to ideas, such as ‘Ask and Act’, being introduced to the Scottish Parliament as part of the upcoming Housing Bill — a direct result of collaboration within the Change Team.

Co-production brings real benefits to ending homelessness in that those who see the reality of homelessness in Scotland on a day-to-day basis can influence government policy. The Change Team are an incredible team who work well together, and I am very proud to be part of this.

The All In For Change team’s successes and future priorities are set out in this evaluation of the programme’s first three years.