Manchester’s approach to a co-produced community offer

A case study on Manchester's approach to a co-produced community offer.

  • Theme: Information and communications
  • Strength: Promising
  • Breadth of Impact: Promising
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Amid ongoing lockdown restrictions in summer 2020, Manchester City Council (MCC) set out to ensure families of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) were making full use of their local universal offer.

Working with parents/carers, children and young people, and community partners, the council co-produced a new summer offer, designed to ensure local families had opportunities to build networks and friendships, access excellent quality information, and build confidence in exploring and using the offer. The project also enabled universal services to build their skills, knowledge, and confidence when working with disabled children and young people, children and young people with special educational needs, and their families.

As a result of this work, take up of sessions significantly increased by almost 500% over two years, (from 498 in 2020 to 2954 in 2022), parent groups developed strong, meaningful partnerships with local community providers (one group now sits on the board of a provider), and direct work with young people has led to the piloting of a youth-led grant making group. The council received positive feedback from families around peer-to-peer support, improved accessibility, and young people’s increased confidence, friendships, independence, aspirations, skills, and sense of belonging. Key activities crucial to impact were a commitment to co-production, inclusivity, and nurturing a sense of community.

The SEND Effective Practice Evidence Framework considers that the “strength of evidence” of this case study is promising – the work has been evaluated internally and has been shared, and has been sustained for two years. The “breadth of impact” of this case study is promising – there is evidence of impact in two of the four broad areas of impact considered by the Framework.