Get involved in community information

We’ve recently improved the tool we use to create Sheffield Directory.

But having the right tool is only part of the solution. We need local people who can help us to improve the content of the website – whether that’s information that’s missing, details that are wrong or out-of-date, or ideas for ways the website can help people to take part in their community and help each other.

We pay £10 an hour for your time, plus expenses.  If you think you might like to be involved, or if you just have questions and would like to talk to someone – please get in touch. Email or to speak to someone call Heather (0114 273 4763) or Mike (0114 273 5925).

There’s more detail about what we’re hoping to achieve and how we’ll work together below. If you’re not ready to get involved but want to stay informed about our work send us your email and we’ll drop you a line occasionally with news on our progress and latest plans. Email

You can also download a printable version of this information.

We’re creating a coproduction group to review and develop the content of the directory. Coproduction can help make sure the advice content of the directory answers the questions please have, as well as the information services want people to know about. Coproduction can also help make sure the directory functions well – for example search results, categorisation, presentation and the user experience.

We’ve sketched out some group commitments and initial suggestions for ways of working for the group – but the detail on much of how we’ll work together will be finalised as we begin to meet.

As well as the group we’ll also work with local organisations and groups to make sure the website works for all our communities.

Our website has a specialist area giving information and advice for parents and carers of children and young people with a special educational need or disability (often called SEND). This section is called our Local Offer. For many years the Council has worked in partnership with the Sheffield Parent Carer Forum to develop our Local Offer to address gaps and improve the quality of advice and information. This partnership will continue to improve and develop our Local Offer working with children and young people with SEND and their parents/ carers, services across education, health, and care, and third sector organisations.

Co-Pro Stories report

If you’re not familiar with the idea of coproduction there’s a really helpful guide from the Coproduction Collective.

As they say it’s a process not a practice: “just get your hands in and get messy with it… just iterate over time and see what works well.”

That’s exactly what we want to do – as we work together we’ll make changes to make sure people enjoy and get the most from this work – and we improve the website.

If you’d rather listen to what people say they also have 16 videos on Coproduction.

youtube videos

We’ve adapted these commitments from a coproduction toolkit by Collective Wellbeing at Carnegie UK. They’re just a starter to help our discussion - the group will decide the commitments we follow for this work.

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 We all work together to identify how to improve the website.

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 We are all open to discussing the different ways we can improve the website.

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 What’s good and what’s bad – and what’s possible (limitations/timescales).

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 Opportunity for all to contribute. Everyone’s view is of equal importance.

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 Trust each other, and trust our work is valued and acted upon.

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 Share views and opinions, share data (hits, complaints)
 and take shared responsibility for the actions we decide.

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 We engage in this work fully, and we agree any other engagement needed.

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 Each other and our views, and work through opposing
 views to make the right decisions on what to do.


To begin we’ll need to meet each other, agree some detail on how we’ll work and the format for meetings. We think meetings will be about 2 hours and have 6-8 people as well as Council officers to support the discussion and give information about the directory. We expect some meetings will be face to face, and some may be online (such as Zoom).
We’ve given some ideas on how we’ll work below , but after the first couple of meetings the group will review how we best work together and make any changes needed.

While we’re a Coproduction Group, we may need to begin by prioritising our work to review the current website and identify the gaps and poor content.

Within the ladder of involvement there are several ways to coproduce.

picture of a ladder showing different steps of coproduction

Coassessment will allow for work to begin quickly – for example where the group identifies missing content or a missing organisation the Council can draft new information, or ask the organisation to join the directory.

After we co-assess each topic we can decide what can be fixed by the Council, and what the group wish to be more involved in developing the improvements required.

As well as our commitments, it will help for us all to agree some ways of working. We’ve taken these ways of working from the Coproduction Collective’s practical steps. They’re a good start, but we think they should be tweaked for our group and this work, as suggested below. Again these are just our starter for 10 – the group will decide these together.

  • Come to meetings prepared to participate.
  • Present information in readily accessible ways and avoid overuse of jargon.
  • Focus on discussing agenda issues within the time agreed for each item.
  • Actively contribute to all discussions – including on issues outside of the person’s main interests/experience.
  • Encourage others to contribute and be respectful of different views.
  • Contribute to ensuring decisions made are clear with responsibility for actions identified.
  • Respect confidentiality where agreed, to allow sharing of information and views.
  • Value both knowledge and experience, and professional expertise.
  • Ensure the result of the actions agreed is reported, completed/delayed/not possible (with explanations).
  • Contribute to discussions and evaluations on improving the coproduction activity.

We will assess our work, and the way we work together, by reviewing each meeting. There's an example of how we might do this at the end the printable version of this guidance.

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