To celebrate Co-production Week, Maureen Howell, Manchester City Council’s SEND Engagement & Young Carers Lead, shared with us her thoughts on the importance of working in partnership with families.

Here, she tells us of how working with parents and carers contributed towards the success of last year’s summer community offer as well as the efforts to produce an equally amazing summer offer this year.

Co-production Week is a great opportunity to stop and reflect on the importance of working in partnership with our children & young people with SEND and their families. The last 15 months have been extremely challenging for our families, yet in the midst of a worldwide pandemic they took the time to work with us and help us find different ways to deliver support.

The success of the summer 2020 community offer can entirely be attributed to the input from families who came forward with creative and innovative ideas and even helped us to deliver the offer. Never has there been a better example of the positive impact of working in co-production. Over 500 families accessed a wide range of free activities, many taking the opportunity to try new things.

This summer we hope even more families will access our SEND Community offer which once again has been co-produced and builds on listening to families’ experiences.

Other than the summer offer, the Local Offer team also worked with us for their community offer during the spring half-term and Easter holidays. Here are families’ feedback on those offerings earlier this year (tap a photo to learn more):