Community mediation is an impartial, independent, confidential and voluntary process that helps two or more people, or groups of people, who are in disagreement or conflict with each other over any issue, to come to a solution that benefits those parties both now and in the future.
Impartial - We do not take sides or make judgements about the dispute. We treat each party equally. We do not represent one party or the other.
Independent - We are not part of any other agency such as the Council, police or housing association so our role is purely to provide mediation.
Confidential - We will not reveal what is said by a party about another party nor will we reveal the discussions which take place during the mediation meetings to others. We ask our clients to keep to the same rules and not discuss the contents of any mediation meeting with anyone outside of the process. We are at liberty to let any referrer or involved party know what stage a case has reached and the outcome status but any agreement reached will not be shared outside of the parties involved unless they specifically request it.
Voluntary - No party can be forced into mediation and any party can withdraw at any stage. The referrer can also withdraw a case at any stage and the mediation service can also withdraw if it feels the case or clients are unsuitable.
Community Mediation - Is It For You?
Community mediation focuses on helping parties to express their feelings, change behaviours, improve understanding, communication and relations and move forward. It involves trained mediators who facilitate the process and create an environment where both sides can reach agreement in a fair and open manner.
Mediation works well if both parties engage in the process with the right ethos and are committed to wanting to resolve the issue.
Community mediation is not suitable if either party is looking for enforcement action or actively seeking legal action. It is not a legal process and any agreements reached in community mediation are made in 'good faith' and are not legally binding.
Mediation is open to you if you want to communicate/reach an agreement with a neighbour, landlord, tenant or other person in your community over issues that you have which are causing, or are likely to cause, conflict.
It is a voluntary process and so we encourage both parties to participate willingly. Mediation is not legally binding and not directive. It is entered into in good faith.
Our mediators are there to act as facilitators, to listen and assist those people involved to engage in constructive discussion with a view to finding a mutually acceptable outcome. They will not judge, direct, take enforcement action or take sides.
Anyone with good listening and communication skills, who can remain impartial, relate to the local community and work with people from different backgrounds, can train to be a community mediator. They need to be the type of person that our clients will respect and warm to. They need to be committed and available to give at least six hours of planning, facilitating and debriefing to each case they mediate.
All our community mediators are volunteers and must have completed a recognised, accredited basic mediation skills course. All our mediators have been independently assessed and are supervised by our experienced supervision staff. We ensure that every mediator is offered sufficient on-going training, supervision and support to enable them to carry out their role professionally.
Our community mediators do not take sides, make judgements, weigh up evidence or give opinions on the people or issue. They are not legal advisors, mediation is not a legal process. They do not direct nor take enforcement action. Instead they help clients to work together to create a solution that improves everybody’s lives.
Mediation can be used for almost any type of dispute. We mainly specialise in helping people with issues connected to their homes and communities. Therefore if you and your neighbour, another community member or landlord are in disagreement over:
• Noise nuisance
• Behaviour, including anti-social behaviour
• Non-legal property matters
• Communal areas
• Clashes of lifestyles/cultures
then we can help you. This list is not exhaustive, if you are unsure then please contact us to see if we can assist.
The focus of community mediation is primarily to explore and improve behaviour and communication between disputants.
Disputes relating to property or monetary matters of a legal or contractrual nature, or where a professionals opinion or legally binding decision is sought should contact the Civil Mediation Council www.civilmediation.org where a list of civil and commercial mediation providers can be found.
If you are seeking a family mediation service, please contact National Family Mediation Service via their website www.relatelondonnw.org.uk