Co-production Week in July: because we’re not puppets on a string

Featured article - 15 April 2016
By SCIE's Michael Turner, Co-production support manager

Head-shot of the author, SCIE's Michael Turner, Co-production support manager

So I’m working at home with lots to do to plan Co-production Week which starts on 4 July.

For a little background stimulation I stumble across a 6 Music retro concert of music from all those great Gerry and Sylvia Anderson puppets shows – Thunderbirds, Stingray, Captain Scarlet – all fond favourites from my childhood.

For the concert they had brought together an orchestra of disabled and non-disabled musicians and a guest vocal from Jarvis Cocker of Blur (or is it Pulp?) The disabled musicians were from something called the Paraorchestra - the world’s first professional ensemble of disabled musicians formed for the Paralympics.

I couldn't help but think I had the perfect soundtrack for my work.

SCIE will be doing lots for Co-production Week and we hope many other organisations will use it as an opportunity to highlight what they are doing on co-production.

Our highlight will be the Festival of Co-production on Thursday 7 July for members of SCIE's Co-production Network and invited guests.

Just like the concert I was listening to, there’ll be lots of different artists working together to make it a fun and interesting celebration. But unlike the concert, we won’t be celebrating puppets who are controlled by strings with words put in their mouths.

We’ll be celebrating that people who use services aren’t puppets; they have lives and things to say for themselves – and co-production is the way to deliver the services that support people to do this. As Lady Penelope would have said in Thunderbirds, it’s going to be FAB. #coproweek

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