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Ashford Mediation Service to step up conflict resolution support

Published: 14/09/2020

The Ashford Mediation Service has been awarded a grant by the National Lottery Community Fund to increase its ability to provide mediation services to people living in the borough.

Free at the point of access to residents of Ashford, the Service helps to facilitate the resolution of conflict between neighbours over noise, boundary and anti-social behaviour issues, intergenerational conflict, child access disputes, work-place disputes and disputes between youth.

The aims of the Service are to help prevent the escalation of conflict, which in turn reduces likely intervention by the police and social services. Tackling conflict at an early stage can help to prevent breakdown in relationships and reduce homelessness and crime.

The grant will provide the volunteer mediators with much-needed IT equipment to conduct mediation services over technology platforms, giving them the ability to provide remote, rather than face-to-face, mediation during the current COVID-19 restrictions.

Lockdown has seen an increase in conflicts between neighbours as well as in the home and the grant will also fund an awareness campaign to allow the Service to create a support network in the community where people with conflict issues can be quickly and safely signposted to the most appropriate service.

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Sue Pitt, Chair of Trustees at Ashford Mediation Service, said: “Our role is to prevent the escalation of conflict so that everyone can live and work in a more harmonious community.

“Conflict doesn’t just affect those in dispute, it often has a ripple effect and often involves multiple households, whole streets and entire neighbourhoods. We are very grateful for this grant which will allow us to offer mediation services using technology platforms thereby reaching those residents who feel unable to meet for face-to-face mediation during these difficult times.”

About Ashford Mediation Service

  • The Ashford Mediation Service is a registered charity, founded in 1997, providing free, confidential and impartial mediation services to the residents of the borough of Ashford who are experiencing conflict or difficulty with others.
  • The Service works with a range of partners including Ashford Borough Council, Kent Police, Relate, Citizen’s Advice, Dad’s Unlimited, Kent County Council and many others.

For more information visit www.ashfordmediation.co.uk or contact the Service directly at info@ashfordmediation.co.uk