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Co-production week 2024: Keeping people with lived experience at the heart of what we do

Co-production week is a national week, running from 1 to 5 July. It’s hosted by the Social Care Institute for Excellence and gives organisations like us the chance to celebrate the incredible contributions that people affected by breast cancer make to our work. The involvement team shares why co-production matters to us, and how you can get involved.

What is co-production?

Co-production is all about making sure that our work reflects what really matters to people affected by breast cancer.

It means that we actively involve people with lived experience when we make decisions about what we do and how we do things.  We recognise that people who are ‘experts by experience’ bring valuable perspectives, and we work with them as equal partners to make meaningful change.

Why does co-production matter?

We want to make sure that everything we do benefits people affected by breast cancer. And we can only do that by working with the people we’re here for. Co-production helps us to understand what’s important to them and what they need.

By including people affected by breast cancer at every stage of our work, we can make sure that we’re getting things right. And it means that our work will have lasting benefits for the people we support.

It’s about equality and equity within decision making. It makes sure that you’re not just doing something to another person, but you're creating something with them. Our work is sustainable because we understand more about what people want. And only people with lived experience can give you that perspective.

Michaela and Zoe
Here for You team

This is key to achieving our 2050 vision, that everyone diagnosed with breast cancer will live, and be supported to live well.

How do people get involved in our work?

Our Breast Cancer Voices are a community of people affected by breast cancer, whether it’s a personal diagnosis or that of a loved one. Our Voices are passionate about changing things for people diagnosed with breast cancer in the future.

The Voices network was a way to get back control. It gave me the chance to have a say and influence breast cancer support, even in a small way. It felt like an incredibly positive thing to do after the negativity of my diagnosis.

Claire
Breast Cancer Voice

Our Voices use their personal and professional skills and interests to contribute so much value to our work.

Our voices get involved in our work in many different ways. They...

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Join project groups to help us develop strategies and create training for staff and volunteers.

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Attend focus groups to help us understand what support services we should offer.

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Talk at events to inspire healthcare professionals to change how they interact with people

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Sit on committees to help us decide which research is most important to fund.

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Shape how we carry out research into how we can support people who need it most.

In these and so many other ways, Breast Cancer Voices help us keep people affected by breast cancer at the heart of what we do.

I’ve had the privilege of taking part in different projects – from providing insight from a generic patient perspective, to becoming an integral part of shaping and tailoring Breast Cancer Now’s services to better serve the diverse community that we live in.

Cheryl
Breast Cancer Voice

How can I get involved?

If you’ve been personally affected by breast cancer and would like to be involved in shaping our work, you can join Breast Cancer Voices.

You’ll hear about different opportunities to get involved with us and have the chance to shape UK-wide research, care and policy.

Become a Breast Cancer Voice

We’d love to have you on board! Together, we can be here for everyone affected by breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Voices

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