Difficulties between neighbours can cause misery and stress. Lack of or poor communication can lead to misunder standings which, in turn, can create a disagreement or cause a disagreement to escalate. When such difficulties occur, mediation can help.
When should I go to mediation?
Where possible, the best way to sort out a problem is informally between yourself and the other party. However, issues can be complicated by strong emotions, sometimes a party may feel uncomfortable confronting the other party without someone impartial present. If you work or live near the party and conflict is impossible to avoid. This is when mediation can be useful.
What happens in mediation
When someone has asked for mediation our next step would be to contact everyone involved to check that they all agree to take part. Anyone is free to withdraw at any stage of the mediation should they wish to do so. Everyone involved is then visited individually by mediators and asked to explain the current situation in their view and what they would like to happen in the future. They will also be asked for any suggestions on how they feel the situation could be improved. Information shared during the mediation is private and confidential (with exception of disclosure of serious abuse) unless agreed.
If both parties agree to come to a joint meeting this will then be arranged by the mediators at a neutral venue such as a village hall or community centre. To start the mediation everyone will be asked to agree to a few basic rules, such as listening without interrupting and respect for each other. Each party will then get a chance to talk about the problem as it affects him or her. The mediator’s role is to try and make sure that everyone understands what each person has said and allow them to respond. The mediator will then help both parties identify the issues that need to be resolved. Very often this leads to solutions that no one had thought of before, helping parties to reach an agreement. The agreement can be written down and signed by all parties and the mediators. However, it is not legally binding and cannot be enforced in court unless the parties decide to make it a legal contract. The agreement does not affect anyone’s legal rights either, allowing the freedom to find another way of dealing with the dispute at any time.
Who are mediators
Mediators are local volunteers who are specially trained in mediation. They will not take sides, judge or blame anyone and they will not tell you what to do. They are there to help people identify theirs needs, clarify issues and explore solutions. They help people to communicate better with one another and are completely impartial.
The benefits of mediation
The service is free, you are in control. Mediators are impartial. The service is confidential and our service is independent.