Impact of MEAM support

November 24, 2021

Cordis Bright has published a new report exploring the nature and impact of the support MEAM provides to local areas in the MEAM Approach network.

The research investigated the types of support MEAM provides to local areas, which types of support are most valued, and the impact of MEAM support on people, partnerships and the wider system.

A team of researchers with experience of multiple disadvantage worked alongside Cordis Bright to conduct the research. Using interview and survey data from 23 MEAM Approach areas it identified four main types of support that MEAM offer:

  • Critical friend support
  • Partnership support
  • Systems change support
  • Training and sharing learning

Respondent were highly positive about the support that MEAM provides, noting that key strengths include: MEAM’s national influence and reputation; the depth and breadth of the expertise within the MEAM team; the external viewpoint provided; and the hands-on, non-prescriptive, nature of the support.

Key findings highlighted by the research for each type of support include:

Critical friend support

  • 100% of survey respondents reported that MEAM support helped them in their role as local lead for the MEAM Approach work.

“It makes me feel less alone in the work I’m doing – sometimes I feel out on a limb when I’m pushing boundaries or pushing systems change when lots of people want to return to business as usual.”

Partnership support

  • 100% of local leads felt that support from MEAM helped them build relationships and partnerships in their local area in order to improve support for people experiencing multiple disadvantage.

“If I think of us before, we were all in silos thinking this doesn’t work, knowing each of us on our own couldn’t have an impact. But MEAM brought us together with other organisations. They’re like the glue – they were able to connect like-minded organisations that really want to do something different and bring us together to have those conversations.”

Systems change support

  • 100% of local leads felt that MEAM support enabled them to think more systemically, identify changes they would like to make to local systems, and begin to make some of these changes.
  • 94% of local leads felt that MEAM support had promoted workforce development and culture change, enabling them to better support people experiencing multiple disadvantage.
  • 95% of local leads felt that the support from MEAM had improved co-production and/or the involvement of people with lived experience in their work.

 “Sometimes we don’t see obvious things we could be doing, because [we are] too close to our own system. [MEAM] help you question what you’re doing and ask why.”

Training and sharing learning

  • 100% of local leads felt that MEAM support enabled them to build links and share learning with other local areas involved in the MEAM Approach network.

“We got really good feedback on the trauma-informed training [run by MEAM]. It was a mixed group who attended – drug and alcohol workers, housing workers, outreach workers. Lots of people that work together. Things together like this always help because it helps build relationships and build partnerships too.”

Full report

The full report provides many more quotes, additional information on the overarching strengths of MEAM support, and explores a small number of areas for improvement identified by respondents.

As a team, we continue to be inspired on a daily basis by the work that local MEAM Approach areas are doing across the country. We are delighted that they value the support we provide and we look forward to continuing to work closely with them as they transform services and systems for people facing multiple disadvantage.

The full report can be downloaded here.