Co-Production Week

This week is Co-production week. AB4D puts collaboration at the centre of everything it does, most importantly our work with people who have an experience of disability.
As we celebrate a year of AB4D we talk to Tania from our Clacton Hub about what being part of AB4D has done for her this year.

 Prior to getting involved with AB4D, Tania described herself as 'lacking confidence and nervous' about participating in group meetings and discussions, especially taking on any responsibilities such as chairing meetings.
Tania also wanted to improve her skills and confidence in supporting people that she knows with some of the issues they face.
AB4D staff worked with Tania to help her develop skills and strategies needed to facilitate and chair meetings. Tania (and others) have helped to make sure that group members have been able to take ownership of meetings, rather than relying on staff, this is a great example of that work
AB4D is committed to supporting the ongoing development of adults with disabilities and Tania was supported through this platform to qualify as an Advocate with City and Guilds. Tania demonstrated a passion for peer advocacy, her willingness to help and support other’s to find their own voice has led Tania to help her peers in a variety of ways. 
Life has been different under lockdown, but Tania has continued in her role supporting her fellow group members over the telephone, video chat or socially distanced meet-ups, 'I want to make sure they are doing ok' she says
One of Tania's favourite aspects of being involved with the AB4D project is the work she gets to do collaborating with Essex County Council; she is regularly invited to attend meetings in Chelmsford and this gives Tania the opportunity to represent the collective views of adults with disabilities who are members of AB4D across the county. These views are heard by commissioners and councillors,  it helps them to understand what is important to people with disabilities and means that adults with disabilities can influence the way services are designed and delivered.
In October 2019, Tania attended an awards evening in Chelmsford where the Collaborate Essex Project, of which AB4D is a part, won the Outstanding Achievement Award at the You Make the Difference In Essex Awards (pictured), she thoroughly enjoyed the event.
AB4D believes that real differences are made when we work collaboratively with people, we are proud of the steps Tania and others have made and are excited about seeing further growth in the future. Well done Tania!

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