moneyA coalition of charities is set to expand the support it provides to people with multiple needs across England thanks to a £2.78 million grant.

The Making Every Adult Matter (MEAM) coalition – comprising the charities Clinks, Homeless Link and Mind – has received the funding from the Big Lottery Fund. 

People with multiple needs face a combination of problems including homelessness, substance misuse, contact with the criminal justice system and mental ill health. The MEAM coalition charities support local areas across England to develop effective, coordinated approaches to multiple needs that can increase wellbeing, reduce costs to public services and improve people’s lives. 

They do this by using the MEAM Approach, a framework to help local areas better coordinate services for people facing multiple needs, and by providing support to local areas that are part of the Big Lottery Fund’s Fulfilling Lives: Supporting people with multiple needs programme. 

MEAM say the grant will enable the coalition to bring together data from MEAM Approach and Fulfilling Lives areas to make a strong case to government about the impact of local interventions for people with multiple needs. They will also share good practice across the MEAM Approach and Fulfilling Lives networks and ensure that more individuals are empowered to tackle their problems, reach their full potential and contribute to their communities.

MEAM will work closely with people with lived experience of multiple needs to deliver this programme, and to ensure that they are involved in the plans developed by local areas.

The coalition charities have already begun recruiting new staff, and launched a ‘register your interest’ process for areas wishing to use the MEAM Approach and benefit from the support made possible by the new funding. 

Oliver Hilbery, director of the MEAM coalition, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Big Lottery Fund and all the local partners on this new phase of our work. Together we want to build on the wealth of expertise that exists in current MEAM Approach and Fulfilling Lives areas and draw this learning together into a powerful case for national change. For too long, people with multiple needs have received a poor response from local services that are designed to deal with one problem at a time. We are committed to working with local areas and with government at all levels to change that for good.” 

Baroness Claire Tyler, chair of the MEAM coalition, also welcomed Big Lottery Fund’s support. She said: “We know that by using the MEAM Approach local areas can improve the lives of some of the most disadvantaged people in our society. I’m very excited that more areas will now be able to develop joined-up services that respond to individuals’ needs and aspirations. This new funding will significantly extend the reach and impact of the MEAM coalition and allow us to ensure that learning from local areas is used to shape national policy responses.”

James Harcourt, Big Lottery Fund deputy director of responsive programmes, said: “Through their previous work with the Fulfilling Lives programme and their own network of MEAM Approach areas they have shown themselves to be committed to changing the way that people with multiple needs are supported in local areas. This new funding will allow us to bring together the two networks and reach even more people.”