Coproduction and codevelopment: community engagement update

Published: 1 November 2022

SHW community engagement officer Susan Grant reports back on a recent community and university workshop held as art of Co-production Week Scotland 2022

The latest School of Health and Wellbeing’s community engagement update by Susan Grant focuses on a recent community and university workshop on campus as part of Co-Production Week Scotland 2022.

Photo of a community engagement session in December 2022

Codeveloping Byres Community Hub

UofG and SHW have committed to place-based civic engagement and public benefit from the campus developments like the Clarice Pears. As outlined in previous HAWKEYE updates, Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC) was commissioned by the then Institute, now School to carry out community engagement with community groups across Glasgow to inform the design of the Clarice Pear’s community hub. They developed a survey which was completed by 80 groups across the city and from a diverse range of communities. This was followed by a focus group with 8 people, mainly from community groups and community councils in the West End of the city.

The key findings from the engagement were shared with participants to our Codeveloping Byres Community Hub workshop on campus in November 2022:

  • Community groups wanted the hub to have an outreach and community engagement function
  • Community organisations wanted the hub to be more than a source of information about research being undertaken by the institute. They were interested in what the hub could do to help them in their work, including supporting their own research and providing meeting space.
  • There was an interest in the hub providing information about health and wellbeing across the city, including services and activities provided in communities.

"The university isn’t an exclusive place – it should feel like it belongs to all of us and is part of the community." Focus group participant

This commissioned consultation and some of my subsequent learning from 30 internal meetings and workshops, 40 external meetings, community engagement and networking events and two preparation for coproduction sessions have been summarised in the illustration below:

Infographic of planned community hub activities

Coproduction Workshop, November 2022

Byres Community Hub visual consultation shaped the plan for our recent workshop where we welcomed 50 participants including 36 external attendees representing 29 different community organisations (voluntary/community/Third sector/statutory) who are engaged with communities in Glasgow most impacted by health inequalities and 14 researchers and professional staff from the School of Health and Wellbeing or wider University. Some of the participants had been part of the consultation or have existing links with the university and some were new to the project and the university. The aim of the workshop was to move this project from the consultation to the planning stage for the Hub.

When we consulted potential external participants to plan this workshop, it was felt that more background would be helpful to prepare for coproduction element, so we split the workshop into two halves:

  • The first half was presentations in studio 2 from SHW staff, our consultation partners, SCDC, our exhibition partners, Glasgow Science Centre on the aims of the Hub (impact), resources available (inputs) and themes from the consultation for the Hub (activities). The Students’ Representative Council Volunteering and the Careers Service Internship Hub were also invited to contribute to represent some of the opportunities within the wider university.
  • The second half was the coproduction discussions in the ARC foyer. Each of the tables were facilitated by individuals from voluntary, community, Third Sector, and statutory organisations. Participants were invited to join the group that most interested them and were free to move between tables if they wished. Questions were agreed in advance with each of the table facilitators to shape the discussion around potential outputs and outcomes of the Hub.

Photo of a community engagement session in December 2022

Theory of change

A summary of the workshop is outlined in the table below which starts to map out the theory of change for Byres Community Hub:

Byres Community Hub Theory of Change
Development of the Clarice Pears community hub to better connect community to university


Research expertise

Glasgow’s Health exhibition area

Temporary exhibition resources

Meeting and event space

Public facilities like changing places toilet, baby change, café

Community use of space

Outreach and community engagement

Events programme


Advice clinics/skill sharing

A research evaluation network

Byres Community Hub website

Support for analysing and managing data and accessing evidence

Accessible building and exhibits to include everyone

Combination of methods/ online and face to face programme of free events

Organisations delivering wellbeing events

Students matched with organisations to work on challenges

Positive relationships

Two-way benefits

Mutual skill sharing

Tangible outcomes from involvement

Barriers to participation alleviated such as transport, childcare, formality, language

Community input recognised/reimbursed

Wide reach so the same groups are not being mined by multiple researchers

Well attended events

Diverse participation


Awareness of the hub within community and a clear route to approach/engage

Making connections – something is impacted positively

Case studies brought together

Reports, research grounded in communities

SHW extends the reach of public engagement and research findings are shared with the wider community of Glasgow

The hub is supporting community organisations undertaking their own research or work to maximise local social and economic impact and address local health and wellbeing challenges

More SHW staff and students are involved in engagement and as result research questions and community perspective/lived experience are being brought into SHW learning and teaching and research and innovation

Increased involvement in research from communities of place and identity underrepresented in HE

The hub is helping to share up to date intelligence around health improvement and health and wellbeing initiatives in Glasgow and opportunities for mutual skill sharing

Clarice Pears is part of the community

We are grateful to the MVLS Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund for help with the cost of organising this event. 

Co-Production Week Scotland 2022

The workshop was scheduled to coincide with The Scottish Coproduction Network’s Coproduction Week Scotland 2022 ‘putting coproduction into practice’. You can view the blogs, events, resources from the week on the Coproduction Scotland website or on Twitter #CoProWeekScot22 including a tweet with some footage from our workshop.

We are grateful to everyone who came along and who so wholeheartedly and enthusiastically engaged in the discussions. It was encouraging to see networking happening at the time and connections that have been made since the event. Coproduction is a process so there is work to do. It will take "vision and commitment from university departments and community organisations." There was an acknowledgment that "change can take time" but this event felt like a positive step forward in the development of Byres Community Hub. "The session opened my eyes to what the university can offer to community"

More HAWKEYE community engagement updates to follow in 2023 but, in the meantime, please do contact Susan Grant if you want to share your engagement work or get involved.

Images from each of the tables at the workshop

Table 1 with Alastair Macdonald, North Kelvin Community Council

Photo of a community engagement session in December 2022

Table 2 with Michelle Donaldson, Drumchapel Thriving Places

Photo of community engagement session in Dec 2022

Table 3 with Margaret Lance, Waverley Care

Photo of a community engagement session in December 2022

Table 4 with Martina Johnston-Gray, North West Glasgow Voluntary Services Network

Photo of a group of people at a community engagement event

Table 5 with Melih Caner Inancli. Glasgow South Health Improvement Team

Photo of community engagement session in December 2022

Susan Grant 
SHW Community Engagement Officer 

First published: 1 November 2022