Dave Walker, Director of Mediation tells us about Community and Neighbour Helpline launched in 2020.
During the lockdown I feel we have gone further than just coping, we have stepped up and changed to meet the challenges this pandemic has thrown at us all. We, as mediators, have had a major role in supporting our communities that have been put under such pressure. It has allowed us to fine tune our coaching and mediation skills via phone and Zoom and given our volunteers new areas of development. We have gone a long way to spread the word that mediation is a positive option.
Our colleagues in local government [councils] and housing trusts are under immense pressure; having to field calls from residents struggling to cope with Covid-19 restrictions. We are dealing with people who have lost income, jobs or family and professional support. Feelings of loss and insecurity can spill out as frustration, which can be read as anger by their neighbour or landlord. Helping stressed and angry people is what we are trained for, so it was an easy decision for us to step up and offer a helpline to talk to the residents for the Housing, Noise Team and Anti-social Behaviour Officers. The feedback we are getting, that having an experienced mediator/conflict manager to talk to, helps. In this new normal where local officers are unable to make home visits as easily as they could before, they have a mediation service they can direct residents to, allowing them to focus on trickier cases.
As we know our residents’ problems are diverse, we wish to draw your attention to our Family Mediation service. It offers support for separated parents who may be having problems with child arrangements within the new normal.
Read our full report here;