Getting started – partnership, coproduction and defining the problem.
Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead showed considerable commitment to The MEAM Approach and in November 2018 established the Problem Solving Team (PST) which included a service lead, 5 community wardens and a MEAM Coordinator. This provided the local area extra resource to offer support to people facing multiple disadvantage across Windsor and Maidenhead. The MEAM Coordinator has since developed a strong operational partnership working in a coordinated and collaborative way to build person centred support plans for people on the MEAM cohort. The operational partnership includes key members that cover the main areas of multiple disadvantage. Initially the MEAM Coordinator sat with Community Safety Partners, however in March 2020 it was deemed more practical to be with Housing.
Since being with Housing, RBWM have begun to explore how the MEAM Approach can be widened to work with a larger cohort of people facing multiple disadvantages.
Designing your intervention
MEAM operational partnership meetings were carried out fortnightly between 2018 to 2020 which allowed the group to adapt to the cohort's needs. As the Approach became more embedded in local systems, meetings were reduced to monthly and are carried out alongside the Rough Sleeper Pathway meetings, a new initiative in RBWM to support those rough sleeping with a pathway out of homelessness. The above partners continue to contribute to the meetings and support planning, however the extra resource of outreach workers has meant that the MEAM coordinator has been able to concentrate more on systems issues and brokering flexible responses. In addition, the Coordinator has been able to develop Team Around Me meetings to further support a coordinated response for individuals on the cohort and begin to build an evidence base to support the intervention.
The MEAM partnership manager has facilitated workshops on Trauma Informed and Strengths Based approaches with the operational partnership and this continues to be built into the approach locally.
Sustainability and system change
The strategic partnership meets quarterly and encourages issues from the MEAM operational work to be fed up where solutions can then be identified. The strategic partnership includes the Head of Housing and Environmental Services, Head of Communities, Director of Adults, Health and Commissioning, Safeguarding Lead, CMHT Locality Manager, Thames Valley Police Inspector. The MEAM strategic partnership continues to look for opportunities to ensure that learning coming out of the operational work feeds in to strategic decision making.