Community mediation is a two-stage process.
Stage 1: pre-mediation information meeting
We contact the clients referred to offer them each a separate information meeting. This is to enable the mediator to explain their role, hear about the problem, explain in more detail what mediation is about, explore options and to discuss and agree the next steps, including preparation for a joint mediation session.
This pre-meeting will take place at the nearest venue we have to where the client lives, some days in advance of any joint meeting. This meeting usually takes about 50 minutes.
Pre-meetings might take place over the phone if a client has an illness or disability that might prevent them from travelling, or if there are childcare issues.
Stage 2: mediation
Mediation starts when both clients have made an informed decision to proceed. The mediation meeting can be set up in a number of different ways with the parties creating a meeting that works for them. For example, they can:
- attend with a friend, family member or support worker
- have different arrival and departure times and separate waiting areas
- have an agenda or an open conversation
- set ground rules
- decide on the content of the written record of the meeting
If a client feels unsafe with a joint mediation session but still wishes to communicate with their neighbour with the help of a mediator, it is be possible to set up an indirect negotiation shuttle session, where the clients are in separate rooms and the mediator moves between them. We will confirm this is acceptable to both clients and the referrer before going ahead.