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Emotional support

Mediation: Information for referrers

Two women sit on a sofa having a conversation, smiling.

Catch22’s Mediation Service provides community mediation, conflict resolution and coaching, both on a one-to-one basis and for issues with multiple parties, across Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire.

Benefits of mediation for referrers:

  • Even if people don’t engage, it can stop or reduce calls because you’ve offered them something.
  • If they do engage but they don’t get far, just listening to them can transform how they feel and sometimes they don’t need any more.
  • It’s impartial and perceived as fair.
  • If only one person talks to us we can sometimes help them cope with what’s happening.
  • If both engage fully we make sure everyone is heard and issues are properly dealt with. We can make specific, fair plans of action and work out safe ways to communicate in the future. This can make for a long term change in behaviour. They might even handle other conflicts better in the future.

 Feedback from service users:

  • “Things are calmer.”
  • “Things have improved – we have been talking to each other.”
  • “It took a long time but they didn’t want to tango and you brought them around so …” “You got neighbours so I can say hello and chat when I see them now.”
  • “Not had any issues since. Not had to call the police.”
  • “We have had a text exchange over dog noise. Feeling a bit more relaxed.”
  • “It was really good to be able to talk. You’ve been brilliant. What you’ve done is listened and that’s the best thing.”

How to persuade people to participate in mediation:

  • You don’t have to call it “Mediation”. People can be put off by it. If so, be vague “We have some people who can help with problems like this …”
  • It’s totally voluntary. It doesn’t work if it’s not. Make sure people know they can stop at any time.
  • You are only getting consent for the first phone call. We will leave them alone as soon as they ask us to.
  • Tell them they are in control of the outcome. They find the solutions and they’re not forced to agree to anything.
  • They will not have to meet face to face if they don’t want to.
  • We can meet them somewhere other than home if they’re more comfortable with that.
  • They don’t have to be friends at the end.
  • It’s confidential (barring safeguarding concerns).
  • It’s not an investigation. It’s not judgemental.
  • We’ll talk about what’s happened in the past but it’s focused on the future.

Feedback from referrers

During the last period of funding, in the cases where both parties engaged with us, 90% had positive outcomes. Even if a case does not result in a mediation, referrers often report an improvement in the situation. These are some of the things our referrers have told us:

  • “In this day and age, where the demand on all services is high, Liz has managed to prevent even more demand being placed on police. I am grateful for her help with this case and if the need for mediation were to ever arise again then I won’t think twice about using her and this service.”
  • “Very helpful! Calls to this address have now significantly decreased and now the police hardly receives any calls in relation to these two neighbours. Court was avoided on one occasion has which reduced demand on Suffolk Police.”
  • “The referral was useful and effectively put the parties involved in the firm position to resolve their differences or in this case stop contacting the police over very minor issue.”
  •  “We are a busy Public Service and the Mediation Service has supported us by ‘reducing demand’ on our frontline officers. In many cases mediation has supported neighbour disputes preventing any further calls to police. In other cases where one of the parties have cancelled mediation part way through the delivery package we have still seen positive results i.e. a decrease in calls.”
  • “As part of the Police, contacting Catch22 was easy as we have regular communication with them via our Partnership meetings held monthly. Liz Service was incredibly helpful and provided informative updates and helped with the referral process.”
  • “The ability to refer was helpful and meant I spent less time dealing with a localised issue. There was a noticeable decrease in calls relating to the parties involved.”
  •  “Listening to an issue and getting that party to think in a different way or offer a solution they cannot see- this is the real skill of Catch22.”