Appeal for mediators to sort out neighbours

VOLUNTEERS are needed in Cheddar, Axbridge, Wedmore and surrounding villages to sort out disputes between neighbours. Mediation Somerset trains people up to resolve conflicts between neighbours including excessive noise, parking disputes and antisocial be

VOLUNTEERS are needed in Cheddar, Axbridge, Wedmore and surrounding villages to sort out disputes between neighbours.Mediation Somerset trains people up to resolve conflicts between neighbours including excessive noise, parking disputes and antisocial behaviour problems.There are currently 32 mediators in the county but none are from Cheddar and Axbridge.Colin Gould, service manager for Mediation Somerset, said: "We are appealing for more mediators. "There seems to be a need everywhere. Neighbourhood disputes come up all the time as a result of people living in close proximity with one another."Most people involved in conflict don't want to be and the mediators have an 80 per cent success rate in resolving the issues."Volunteers spend 40 hours training to become mediators. The course costs £4,500 and is funded by grants from the National Lottery.After this, the new recruits are sent out into the field with experienced mediators to train on the job.Mediation Somerset is informed of disputes by the police, county councils and housing officers and the volunteers are sent in to work with both parties.The mediators meet with each person separately to talk over the issues before arranging a joint meeting to try to resolve the conflict.Organisers have also started the scheme up in schools where pupils and staff are trained as peer mediators to resolve arguments between other youngsters, which also helps to tackle bullying.Mediation Somerset needs at least 14 more volunteers across the county. Anyone interested in training to become a mediator or any school wanting to start up the scheme can contact Colin on 01823 352210. For more details visit www.mediationsomerset.co.uk


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