Throughout our history MESH has offered support with community conflicts through community mediation services. Sometimes neighbour disputes stem from community problems. Sometimes there are larger social changes within a neighbourhood. Since 2005 we have had projects funded to work alongside local groups. We facilitate dialogue and development in communities experiencing substantial change. Conflicts may be between groups in the community, or be between the statutory agencies and members of the community. We refer to this as Community Cohesion work.
We face an even greater challenge in community conflict than we do in mediation between neighbours or within families. A community in conflict fragments into separate groups. Individuals identify with these groups, and conflicts between individuals and between groups reinforce each other. The principles of mediation still apply: we listen to all sides, we value their contribution, we help people find their own solutions by helping them identify common ground and shared interests.
We tackle the challenge by a coordinated and targeted approach. We:
- Work with other agencies to promote community cohesion
- Tackle fragmentation by responding rapidly to situations as they arise
- Work with individuals and groups in neighbourhoods
- Report formally and informally to those with strategic roles
- Provide on the ground intelligence
- Help to analyse and interpret situations
- Identify recurring patterns and recommend interventions to avert escalation.
Find out how we can help
We're happy to answer your questions and discuss whether mediation is right for you.