#AllIn for CoPro: ‘We can shift the power balance’

Co-production Week is the perfect opportunity to talk about the impact of All in For Change, the collective set up to challenge the systems around homelessness and give a platform to people with personal and professional experience of homelessness.

People with experience of homelessness, policy experts, decision makers and frontline workers are united in the Change Team. Their knowledge of systems, services and on-the-ground reality – and their connection via the team – are key to making people’s lives better and building momentum to end homelessness.

To celebrate Scottish Co-Production Network’s #CoProWeekScot, Change Leads have shared their experiences of being a part of #AllInForChange. Today we hear from Homeless Network Scotland Associate Mark Cairney, recently recruited as a Change Lead.

This brilliant opportunity to be a Change Lead with lived experience has enabled me to develop my understanding and application of co-production in a solution-focused team.

As a new Change Lead, I can challenge directly the problem of homelessness via co-production at a national, local and programme level.

I joined All In For Change to connect with different stakeholders across the homeless landscape, researching their views and experiences to discover what impact current policy has on them.

This means scrutinising policy through evidence of what is happening in people’s lives, workplaces and communities – their own places and spaces. I see this connection as a renewal of homeless policy and planning, and creating a new evidence infrastructure of how we measure progress and impact.

I am particularly interested in embracing the lived experience of minoritised ethnic people, as our evidence base becomes more diverse and our connections become more human.

A significant success of the Change Team is using co-production to connect people, develop new partnerships and relationships. I am excited to be part of a team that will re-evaluate how we measure impact and generate new knowledge through our roadshows.

I want to be part of how we adapt our Change programmes, produce more transparent learning outcomes and promote bolder preventative Best Practice. Co-production can bridge the gap between policy and practice and help find person-centred solutions driven by lived experience.

I want to fully participate and enjoy being in a Change Team that continues to bring authentic, valued voices of lived experience and frontline work to policy making. We can shift the balance of power through collective ways of knowing and doing to end homelessness.

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