Community Mediation Services Set To Bloom

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Disputes of any kind, whether at work or at home, can be stressful, time-consuming and costly. Mediation can offer a quick, effective and inexpensive solution.

Local charity, Mediation Plus, started 2018 on a high. Last year the charity, which is based in Hailsham, recruited and trained 19 volunteer mediators, supported over 60 individuals and 35 families with a range of neighbourhood disputes and relationship conflict issues. Newly appointed Service Manager, Joan Eades, has ambitious plans to develop the service in 2018 and beyond.

“I first joined Mediation Plus back in 2011. Over the years we have secured funding from the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Children in Need and The Big Lottery Fund. We now have a strong team of trained and accredited volunteer mediators, who handle a range of disputes.”

Mediation Plus has recently updated its website where people can find out about the services on offer, make a referral and find out about recruitment and training opportunities. They deal with disputes between neighbours, family issues and, through their ‘Time 2 Talk’ service, can also help children and young people who are having problems at home.

Last year, with funding from Awards for All (part of the Big Lottery Fund), Joan and her team were able to expand the Time 2 Talk service into The Havens area, having trained 11 new volunteers covering Newhaven, Peacehaven and Seaford.

They will be running further volunteer recruitment and training events throughout 2018, starting in the Spring. There will be an open day at the Mediation Plus offices in Southview, Hailsham followed soon after by a training programme for new volunteers. Joan adds,

“Everyone can benefit from good listening and questioning skills. Our training is accredited with Open College Network and can open up opportunities for anyone interested in improving communication and managing conflict.”

Chair of Trustees for Mediation Plus, Barbara Molog, is very excited by plans to enhance and develop the services on offer. She says,

“Our volunteer mediators are an incredible asset to the community. They step into peoples’ lives, often in very stressful and challenging times, and can make a very positive difference.

“As a charity we rely heavily on funding from outside. I very much hope we can secure funding for 2018 and beyond. As well as our neighbourhood and Time 2 Talk services, we also offer affordable and professional mediation and conflict coaching services to local businesses, organisations and individuals.

“We also hope to attract funding to offer a schools-based service aimed at training more young people in the mediation skills and techniques that will help them to better understand and deal with conflict. We believe this would have an immensely positive effect which benefits individual children, as well as schools and the wider community.”

Anyone interested in finding our more about mediation or training in mediation skills should contact the Mediation Plus team on 01323 442781 or email them at info@mediation-plus.org.uk.

Visit our website www.mediation-plus.org.uk for details of forthcoming open days and training events.

Twitter: @MedPlusSussex

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