Change in action: Ensuring residents feel heard at The Riverside Group

31 January 2024

At The Riverside Group (TRG), we've been working to make sure our residents feel heard and are engaged. To do this, we offered co-production training to our staff and residents through workshops, designed to build relationships and improve our services.  

Introducing co-production

We introduced a new role – co-production officer – to build local involvement and co-production at service level in our Care & Support (C&S) service. We recognised that one size does not fit all, and that formal opportunities for involvement across The Riverside Group aren’t necessarily accessible for our C&S service users.

To ensure colleagues and residents had a common understanding of the term ‘co-production’ and what it means in practice, we created a comprehensive training package and resources.

Colleagues and residents had involvement in designing the training, including:

  • What co-production is.
  • The barriers.
  • The legislative context.
  • Opportunities and inclusive methods of local involvement.
  • How the training should be delivered.
  • How long it should take.
  • What kind of interactive exercises should be held.

The new officer developed the training and then piloted it with several colleagues, carrying out face to face visits, online surveys and Teams calls, before releasing it to all of C&S.

Securing engagement 

Initially it was difficult to secure attendance from our residents due to the training being offered virtually; the officer then carried out face-to-face workshops which dramatically increased attendance. The Care & Support Executive Team were key stakeholders who sponsored the work; senior leader commitment to co-production is high.  
Over 350 residents and colleagues have attended either a virtual or face-to-face co-production training session. The face-to-face workshops have built relationships between residents and the service and co-production activity has increased exponentially in these services as a result.   


Over 350 residents and colleagues have attended either a virtual or face-to-face co-production training session.

“I feel like I have been represented and heard”

- A resident of The Riverside Group

Feeling heard 

Resident feedback about the workshops has been positive. One resident from Westminster stated: “I feel like I have been represented and heard” after attending a workshop earlier in 2023. This service now have a designated Activities Co-ordinator who will focus on combining co-production and local service involvement in service activities.   
We will be delivering ongoing training on co-production: the officer is now developing a suite of virtual e-learning tools which can be used to complement the workshops themselves. 

Change in action 

In December 2023, the National Housing Federation (NHF) and Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) published a joint update on our work on the Better Social Housing Review, one year since the independent panel made seven recommendations for the social housing sector.    

Our ‘Change in action’ series of case studies highlights best practice so far from housing associations navigating the changes set out in the BSHR.

If you have a question about the recommendations, or want to get in touch, please contact us.