At Richmond Fellowship, the people we support are at the heart of everything we do.

That’s why one of our founding principles is to work with the people using our services as equal partners, to design, plan and provide support together.

Our approach is based on the principle of co-production, which means creating something together. We champion this throughout the organisation both within our individual operational and central service teams.

The key principles of CO-PRODUCTION

Our way of working is based on four key ideas of co-production:

  • We take a ‘glass half-full’ approach and support people to discover their individual skills, interests and hopes, rather than just focusing on their needs.
  • We share roles and decision-making between staff and the people we support, where everyone is equal. Everyone’s contribution is recognised and valued, and people are supported to take part in a way that is meaningful for them.
  • We foster support networks, enabling people to share their experiences and support each other, providing empathy and hope, as well as helping people to actively engage with their communities.
  • We know that while we cannot make people recover, we can inspire and support them to lead and own their recovery.


When we embarked on our co-production journey back in 2015, people we support told us that ‘co-production’ as a term did not fully reflect the spirit of humanity, togetherness and collaboration with which we approach what we do here at Richmond Fellowship.

People felt that Working Together better encompassed our philosophy and approach to supporting people to regain fulfilling lives, fully utilising their skills and experiences gained through lives in vastly diverse communities.

In early 2015 we ran a Big Conversation to inform our plans around Working Together and to give people we support the opportunity to work with us at all levels of our organisation.

We wanted to find out from the people we support how they might want to more actively participate in and have greater influence over:

  • Their own support plan
  • How services are run
  • How our organisation is run
  • Championing mental health issues and challenging stigma in society.

A BIG Conversation

We received over 300 responses during our ‘Big Conversation’ and each and every one directly influenced our Working Together Strategy, which we launched in October 2015.

Alongside the Strategy, we have developed our Working Together Charter that underpins the work we do across our organisation from the services we run in the community to our central service functions.

A Working Together Strategy Group, led by people we support and representatives across Richmond Fellowship oversaw the outcome of the Big Conversation.

Since 2017, the group became the Working Together Committee, enabling them to feed directly into our Group Board.

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