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April 14th 2021

A warm welcome to Multiple Disadvantage Matters, the fortnightly newsletter from the Making Every Adult Matter (MEAM) coalition.

Understanding racism and multiple disadvantage

Last year, along with many other organisations and charities, we declared our support of the Black Lives Matter movement. As a team we embarked on a journey to explore the matter of racism and multiple disadvantage, considering what it means for how we organise and lead our coalition towards improving services and systems for people experiencing multiple disadvantage. We have published a blog outlining our journey so far and we will be hosting a network conversation for MEAM Approach and Fulfilling Lives area on 13th May at 2pm. Please register  here to attend. We hope you can join us in this conversation.


Last month we held two webinars for partnerships in both the MEAM Approach and Fulfilling Lives networks. The webinars intend to act as a base for discussion within local partnerships on two important areas:
(1) developing power-aware and trauma-informed cross-sector partnerships; and
(2) taking a systemic approach to multiple disadvantage.
Recordings are now available on our website.

Latest policy news

Homelessness Winter Transformation Fund

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has announced a £3 million fund to enable community and faith groups to provide winter services for people sleeping rough in 2021/22. The fund will enable community and faith groups to develop accommodation options that are self-contained, Covid-secure and dignified and to be ready for people sleeping rough by winter 2021/22. 

Reforms to the public health system in England

The government has set out its structural reforms to the public health system in England, which will see the health improvement functions - including substance misuse - currently housed in Public Health England transfer to a new Office for Health Promotion situated in the Department for Health and Social Care. Collective Voice has produced a useful overview of the changes to Public Health England's health improvement functions. 

Reducing reoffending for women serving short sentences

HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) has published a new Evaluation of a brief intervention to reduce reoffending among women serving short sentences. Russell Webster has produced an overview of the report discussing the importance of secure accommodation, family contact, proper and sustained support for substance use problems, and education, training and employment for women seeking to reintegrate into the community following a prison sentence. 

The Kerslake Commission on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping

The Kerslake Commission on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping will examine and learn the lessons from the emergency response which supported people sleeping rough during the Covid-19 pandemic. It aims to help all agencies involved in supporting those who are rough sleeping, or homeless and at risk of rough sleeping, to understand what worked during the pandemic and what is now needed to embed the good practice that was shown during the past year. The Commission will gather evidence to feed into a report produced in the autumn. For further information about the Commission contact

Resources from the sector

Why we need to invest in multiple disadvantage

CFE Research has published a new briefing from their evaluation of the National Lottery Community Funds Fulfilling Lives Programme. Why we need to invest in multiple disadvantage is an update on their earlier briefing of the same name containing more recent data from the programme and looking at outcomes over a longer period of time.

How do we treat our peer mentors?

Early this year, Russell Webster partnered with Revolving Doors Agency to conduct a survey of the experiences of people who had used helping services themselves before volunteering with them. Russell has drafted a blog discussing the main findings of the research. Experiences shared via the survey will be used as the basis of a best practice guide to be co-produced over the Spring and Summer of 2021.

Benefit system increases homelessness

Homeless Link has published a new report looking at the links between the benefits system and homelessness, with a particular focus on London. The report, which is funded by Trust for London, concludes that a lack of available, affordable accommodation will make it difficult to move people on from emergency accommodation after the pandemic. A combination of the frozen Local Housing Allowance and the benefits cap means that people simply cannot afford the property that is available.  
Learning Opportunities

A traumatised system: A critical crossroads for the commissioning of homelessness services

Homeless Link are holding a free event on 29th April, 2.30-4pm, to discuss the learning from ten years of commissioning trends in UK homelessness services. Based on a study commissioned by Riverside and delivered by Imogen Blood & Associates and the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York, attendees will hear the views of commissioners and providers and have the opportunity to participate in this debate. 
Keeping you up to date at this time
Our priority in this difficult period remains people facing multiple disadvantage and the people who support them. If you have any questions, comments or issues you would like to raise, please contact any member of the MEAM team.  

Multiple Disadvantage Matters will keep you up to date with key policy developments affecting people facing multiple disadvantage. Please forward this email to colleagues, who can subscribe here for future editions.

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MEAM's work is supported by the National Lottery Community Fund and The Lankelly Chase Foundation

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