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March 23rd 2020

COVID-19 Special Edition

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

During this unprecedented time, we're reaching out to the network to let you know what we're doing, hear about how you are responding locally, and to learn more about how we can best support you at this time.

An unprecedented week

In a blog published this morning, our director reflects on the last seven days, arguing that if last week’s response to COVID-19 was unprecedented, then this week’s actions needs to be even more so if we are to prevent a disproportionate impact on people facing multiple disadvantage. MEAM Approach and Fulfilling Lives partnerships have a vital leadership role to play, and MEAM will support the networks in this over the coming weeks.

Our support to you

MEAM partnership managers and policy team members will be contacting all MEAM Approach and Fulfilling Lives areas in the coming days to explore how we can continue to provide effective and appropriate support over this period. We are conscious that local areas will be balancing a lot of priorities, so our aim will be to offer support in the most helpful way, for example by facilitating virtual network meetings and collating local examples of innovative front line practice in relation to the virus. 

In line with government guidance, all MEAM coalition staff moved to remote working at the beginning of last week. All MEAM workshops and events scheduled in March and April will be rescheduled.
COVID-19 Resources from the sector

Latest from Clinks

Clinks has published a blog outlining current COVID-19 guidance for prisons and probation services. They have set up a new email address to respond to queries. 

Homeless Link updates

Homeless Link has a resource page related to COVID-19. They also held a webinar last Wednesday attended by over 800 people and will continue doing so going forward, keep an eye on the website for more details. 

Collective Voice resources

Collective Voice has published resources for substance misuse treatment services.

Mind supporting wellbeing 

Mind has published information about the various steps people can take during this stressful time to try and help their wellbeing.

Latest policy changes

Emergency funding for local authorities 

The Government has announced £3.2 million in emergency funding for local authorities to help people who are rough sleeping to self isolate.

PHE guidance on hostels and day centres  

Public Health England has published information on COVID-19 for hostel or day centre providers of services for people experiencing rough sleeping.

Ministry of Justice and PHE guidance 

The Ministry of Justice and Public Health England have produced guidance for prisons and other prescribed places of detention on COVID-19.

Legislation to ban evictions during the crisis

The Government is currently legislating to ban evictions from social housing and the private rented sector for the next three months. There will be no new proceedings to start possession during this time. 

Changes to Universal Credit

The Government has announced significant changes to requirements related to claiming Universal Credit. They have also announced an increase of £20 per week plus the planned annual uplift for a single claimant over the age of 25 from April 6th.

Increase to Local Housing Allowance

The Government has also announced an increase in the local housing allowance to the lowest 30th percentile of market rents.

Key worker scheme announced 

The Government has announced a list of workers whose children will be able to be cared for during this time in a school setting. 

Mind responds to emergency legislation 

Mind has responded to changes to the Mental Health Act proposed by the COVID-19 emergency legislation. This relates to the length of time someone can be held under section and the number of professionals needed to make the decision to section someone.
Funding opportunities

Money saving expert

Grants of £5 - £20k from Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert, for charities who are directly supporting COVID-19 related poverty relief projects. Closes at 23:59 on Wednesday, March 25.

National Emergencies Trust

The National Emergencies Trust has set up a Coronavirus appeal and will announce details on how to apply today, March 23rd.

John Lewis Partnership Fund

The John Lewis partnership has announced a £1m fund to support local communities. Get in touch with your local Waitrose store as staff are deciding on how best to distribute funding locally.

The Indigo Trust

The Indigo Trust is making £2.5 million available through emergency grants to help charities respond to the coronavirus emergency. 

Further opportunities

We are aware of a range of further emergency funding opportunities that are being discussed and will update via this briefing when more information emerges. Civil Society has collated a list of some of the funding being made available for charities during COVID-19 emergency.
Networking Opportunities

FEANTSA morning bites webinar

FEANTSA will be holding short webinars on Wednesday mornings at 9am related to ongoing practice development and learning. The first one begins this Wednesday.

MEAM Approach and Fulfilling Lives Areas

As noted above we look forward to providing a range of online networking opportunities going forward depending on what areas would find most beneficial  at this time. 
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. From now on, we'll get shorter updates to you more often.

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

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