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Mediation Bucks - a facility to resolve differences between people

Disputes, no matter how minor, have the ability to escalate. Laura Mowat speaks to a volunteer at Mediation Bucks about what they do to help people to resolve them.

Mediators at Mediation Bucks

Mediation Bucks aims to be the pathway to resolution. The organisation facilitates discussions that lead to solutions for neighbour, community and family disputes.

Volunteer mediator, Lin Instone, said: "People need to be willing to come to an agreement. We try to facilitate them coming to their own agreement.

"We listen and reflect, we ask questions about their feelings, we ask them what the future would look like if the problem would be resolved. We provide them with a structure and a forum to talk through their feelings."

Mrs Instone, a former drama teacher at The Misbourne and Berkhamsted School, deals with two or three cases a month. Sometimes the disputes have been going on for years and have escalated to people having a very troubled relationship.

She became interested in mediation when she was involved in senior leadership as a teacher, which often involved conflict resolution.

The issues can vary and may include anti-social behaviour, inconsiderate parking and nuisance caused by pets.

Mediation Bucks, which is free, simply provides a framework that gives those involved an equal chance to voice their concerns and to listen to what others have to say in a confidential environment.

She added: "We have a high rate of success in conflict resolution, some times people need to be helped to communicate their feelings and establish an agreement. It is about communicating assertively and not aggressively. Sometimes people just want to get their anger and upset out."

Although a solution is not legally binding, it is made in good faith and generally helps those in the dispute to reach an agreement.

Social media can often lead to a problem escalating as both parties can vent their anger and friends can get involved in the situation.

People may refer themselves to the organisation due to a dispute or they may be referred by the police or housing associations.

The former teacher added: "I enjoy being a mediator and being part of a process that improves people's quality of life so they can be at peace at home. As mediators, we are not there to make any judgements on people."

Some top mediation tips that the organisation does are; to help effective communication, to establish how the communication will happen, to provide a forum for their feelings, to look at the future.

For more information, see



Jack Abell
Reporter (Gerrards Cross, Denham and Iver)
Camilla Goodman
Reporter (Chesham and surrounding villages)
Laura Mowat
Reporter (Amersham, Little Chalfont)
Tom Herbert
Reporter (Chalfont St Peter, Chalfont St Giles, Great Missenden and Prestwood)
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