Big Lottery funding secured to help communities use mediation in North Kirklees

Yorkshire Mediation have successfully secured funding for a community led mediation project to be offered in Mirfield and Ravensthorpe. The charity will train local Mediation Champions to enable them to help local people find alternative ways to resolve conflict.

West Yorkshire based charity, Yorkshire Mediation, have been assisting people in dispute for over 25 years. Mediation helps people discuss their concerns and find agreeable ways to move forward whilst being supported by a trained, impartial mediator, who ensure that people feel heard and can talk to each other in a calm, positive and structured manner to reach a way forward together.

Stella Steele of Yorkshire Mediation said ‘We would like to hear from local community groups and anyone interested in being trained in mediation techniques to become our Mediation Champions. Mediation is a proven, successful way to resolve problems before having to involve police or local authorities. We are very proud to be supported by the Big Lottery for our project in Mirfield and Ravensthorpe and look forward to working closely with local people to create better community relations’

Kirklees is ranked as the 67th most deprived district of 354 districts in England and in a recent PCC survey it was found that Mirfield and the surrounding areas have the lowest level of confidence and satisfaction in the area that they live, compared to other areas in Kirklees. The 2017 Kirklees Community Safety Partnerships reported a score of only 39% in relation to people’s perceptions of ‘pulling together to improve local areas’.  It is hoped that by providing the tools to empower local communities to work together to resolve their issues, both within their own and neighbouring areas, that improvements will be felt by local residents.

In Kirklees there were 11,375 reported incidents of anti-social behaviour in 2014/2015 and 76% of these categorised as ‘nuisance’ which were ‘incidents that cause annoyance and suffering to local communities’. Many of these incidents were classified as youth related, neighbour related and a high number of these related to domestic noise and barking dogs. Problems and unhappiness tend to build and escalate and people find themselves with no option but to contact police, local council, housing officers and even take out civil court proceedings in attempts to resolve problems.

Yorkshire Mediation hopes that the pilot project will help people resolve issues without the need for official intervention, create more opportunities for improving community cohesion and reduce the number of problems which, if left unresolved, can escalate into crime.

Stella added ‘The benefit of impartial mediation is that the outcome is completely dictated by the parties, there is no direction or agreements forced onto one or other party.  Compare this to involvement by local authorities or police who may have to make a decision and enforce it in favour of one or other party which does not resolve any underlying issues or tackle the root cause of the problem. Mediation builds bridges, mends relationships, breaks down barriers and allows people to see things from both sides whilst empowering them to find their own acceptable way forward. Enforcement simply delivers a decision to which parties must adhere, whether they agree with it or not.’

For more information about the project and how to get involved please contact Stella at Yorkshire Mediation on 0113 2424110 or email


Mediation Awareness Week 16th-22nd October 2017

Mediation Awareness Week
16th – 22nd October 2017

Everyone knows the saying ‘prevention is cheaper than the cure’. When it comes to workplace conflict this could not be more true. Conflict, if unresolved, leads to bigger problems such as grievances, disciplinary procedures, investigations, sickness absence and demotivation in the workforce…….

Do you want to nip problems in the bud? Need help with workplace conflict?

  • Workplace Mediation Training Yorkshire Mediation can provide training to help you manage conflict and handling difficult situations in house, before they escalate.
  • Impartial Workplace Mediators Yorkshire Mediation also have trained, experienced Workplace Mediators who are available to assist with existing workplace conflicts.

We are offering all new enquiries for mediation services or training a DISCOUNT in support of Mediation Week. Quote “Mediation Week” to our office staff before November 30th 2017!

Mediation Awareness Week

CPD accredited Workplace Mediation Training courses 2017

Yorkshire Mediation is running a 2 day Workplace Mediation CPD accredited course before the end of 2017. This course is open to individuals for personal development and organisations for staff.

Training in workplace mediation is ideal for anyone who may be required to act as an impartial mediator for workplace mediation. Nipping problems in the bud can prevent escalation to grievance and disciplinary processes, which cost time and money for all involved. With the abolition of tribunal fees employers should seek alternative methods of dispute resolution, which may help avoid the risk of tribunals and litigation through helping parties find an agreeable way forward at an informal level.

No previous experience is required and this course is open to all levels within an organisation, or those wishing to add to their own skills and CV through personal development.

If you would like more information about this course please email


What makes a successful mediation?

We’ve been reflecting a little on the factors that contribute to a successful outcome for the participants in mediation.

Willingness to Try

Generally speaking, the most important factor is a willingness from both participants to engage in mediation with to address past issues. This with a view to drawing a line under what has been in the past and moving on to establish something more positive for the future. Trusting that another person is equally willing to adopt this stance is a difficulty that the hundreds of people who engage with  our service are able to overcome every year.

Clear View of Needs

It helps when parties can express exactly what they need from the person they are in dispute with. Many of us know what we want. When we convey to others the need behind that want progress can start to be made. People can more easily identify with other people’s needs and show empathy for their circumstances than they can with being told what or what not to do. Without being judgmental, our mediators can help all parties to identify their needs, to help them work out whether or not they feel their needs are fair and reasonable and to convey them to each other in a way they can be heard. Reflecting on their own experience of mediation, this is what one party had to say: ‘I know a big part of the problem is my ideas about what is respectful…and the ideas of other people being so different’. That’s probably the most honest self reflection anyone has ever shared with us. We are all so different and do have different lifestyles and values. Mediation helps people to find a mutually agreeable way to deal with those differences. Happily, the same person reported that she/he felt her mediation was very fair and had  been able to reach agreement with the other party.

Ability to Listen

Another factor is the ability to listen to someone else’s perspective; their view of the same situation. One of the main reasons why mediators have to remain neutral, not to take sides with one party or another, is that misunderstandings can occur. Even when it seems that one action or another seems deliberate, it can often arise out of ignorance for another person’s experience of that action. Sometimes an action can be deliberate but arises from a response to some other perceived wrong doing. Again, the hundreds of people who use our service each year have to trust the mediators’ skills to enable clarification of everybody’s perspective. This also involves the mediators listening carefully to each individual’s perspective of a situation during private sessions. Here is what one recent party to mediation had to say on the subject: ‘I felt [the mediators] really took time to listen and understand what was going on and the impact it was having on me.’ It would have been their goal to ensure that the other party also had the same experience.

Meet Face to Face

With more than 95% of cases concluding in agreement or better understandings at Joint Meeting it is clear that mediation is most successful when parties meet face to face to talk about the difficulties they are experiencing. Where mediators shuttle back and forth between parties in separate rooms the success rate is reduced to just over 60%. We believe the difference is making that connection, being able to read people’s body language and hearing the way something is being said, rather than relying on a third party to convey all of this on behalf of one person or another.

So, in conclusion; keep listening, keep talking, be clear about your needs and don’t ignore a problem. It helps to talk and a mediator can help people to find a way to express current difficulties and develop ways to handle any new difficulties that may arise in the future.