guide to community mediation
how does mediation work?
mediation is a process in which an impartial mediator can help the people involved in a dispute to sort out their differences quickly, peacefully and confidentially.
- focuses on improving communication and understanding between the parties builds towards practicable realistic solutions that meet everyone’s needs
- is voluntary - all parties in a disagreement must agree to take part
- is completely confidential.
people who have experienced mediation are equipped to communicate better, and bad feelings or levels of stress are reduced. Through community mediation problems can be resolved before they escalate and relationships are often re-built.
about our mediators
we have a wealth of experience in the field and a successful track record in achieving resolution. Our independent, qualified, experienced mediators are accredited by recognised national bodies and whichever mediator is assigned to your case, you will benefit from the combined experience of the team.
mediators are independent and neutral facilitators, they do not take sides or give advice, and they do not make judgements or take decisions. Their role is to manage the process fairly, and to help people to communicate and explore options.
how to start the process
if you are experiencing problems in your community or neighbourhood and would like to discuss these with a mediator, talk to your landlord and ask if they are prepared to refer the case to us.
when a landlord requests a referral, we will discuss whether the case is suitable for mediation, suggest a way forward, explain the process in more detail, and give some idea of the costs involved. Then, if a decision is made to go ahead, we will ask the landlord to contact all the parties to get their permission for us to contact them directly.
what happens next?
if all parties are willing, we will allocate an experienced mediator who will arrange confidential individual meetings at home and give each party an opportunity to explain their point of view. These meetings will last up to 60 minutes.
we strongly encourage the parties to meet face to face. If both parties are willing, the mediator will invite them to a joint meeting of up to 90 minutes, at a neutral venue, and at a mutually convenient time. The mediator will ensure that everyone has full opportunity to air their views and will encourage the parties to explore possible solutions to the disagreement, taking into account the views that have been expressed. The process will include discussions about the future, and what it might be possible to achieve. The parties discuss and agree which outcomes are best for the particular situation.
occasionally the parties request shuttle mediation, where the mediator goes between the parties, helping them move towards agreement.
once an agreement has been reached, the mediator will record it and everyone present will be asked to sign.
what happens to the agreement?
it will be agreed in advance how the outcome of the meeting will be shared with the parties. The written agreement belongs to the parties and it may be useful to share it with the agency who referred the case for mediation, and the landlord.
what happens if agreement can’t be reached?
if no agreement can be reached, the discussions and contents of the mediation meeting cannot be used elsewhere and will not be shared with anyone.
if you decide not to continue
mediation is voluntary and if at any stage one party decides not to continue, the process will be halted.
how much will it cost?
we accept referrals from landlords, police or community groups and agencies which are able to fund or part fund the process. We also work on behalf of individuals who are able to pay for our service. Our costs are based on a rate of £65 per hour.