The mediation process has changed due to the current COVID-19 situation and the threat of a second wave. Following government advice, Ashford Mediation Service are operating with a few changes.
The local authority or police will refer you to us if the dispute comes to our attention, otherwise you can contact us using the self-referral form. While every case is different, it generally takes three to six sessions to solve a dispute – these sessions last around an hour.
Two mediators will be assigned to your case. One of them will contact you to arrange a video chat to meet you. If possible, we will also meet with the other people involved in the dispute.
If everyone agrees to, we will arrange a safe and neutral place for us all to meet at a time that is convenient to everyone involved. From this point, there’s two routes. This is likely to be a video chat due to the current COVID-19 situation.
Listening Ear and Keep in Touch
We can also offer a ‘Keep in Touch’ service at this point if you prefer a face-to-face meeting when travel and social distancing restrictions are lifted. We can tentatively schedule this in for a few months time, but in the meantime we can have a trained mediator offer a listening ear and some coping mechanisms on a weekly basis through a phone call or video chat.
At the ’round-table meeting’, both parties will have the chance to speak without interruption. We make sure that anger is safely contained and can help you to find a solution that everyone can accept.
In the rare case where a ’round-table meeting is not possible, it may be possible to use ‘shuttle mediation’. This is where each party is physically separate and the mediator “shuttles” back and forth between them to discuss the issues at hand.
At this point agreement made is yours – we just help you to reach it, it is signed by everyone present (although it is not legally binding).
We contact you after an agreed period to see if things are working out as planned or whether we can help you with anything else.