Thursday, 11 December 2014

Mediation Plus triple service quality mark celebration

Eastbourne and Wealden community mediation service Mediation Plus is having a triple celebration after being awarded the Bronze, Silver and Gold "SQP" quality mark for their intergenerational mediation service Time2Talk by East Sussex young people's services network SPARK.
The "SQP" - or "Simple Quality Protects" - awards were made for demonstrating that Mediation Plus achieved a wide range of quality standards including safeguarding training, protecting confidentiality, a volunteer code of conduct and risk assessment. Mediation Plus were one of only two East Sussex organisations awarded all three levels of accreditation at the recent SPARK Awards at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill.
Service Manager Clive Gross said "Having a locally devised and run quality assurance mark specifically aimed at smaller charitable organisations that allows them to independently demonstrate the quality of their services without the prohibitive cost and administrational burdens of others such as ISO or Investors in People is a real boost for services like ours. Service users, local agencies and funders all quite rightly want to be sure that the voluntary sector organisations they work with have high professional standards, and SQP helps us to offer them that reassurance."
While the SQP mark was specifically aimed at the Time2Talk service for young people and their families, which is currently funded by BBC Children in Need, the accreditation process also helped to ensure that the other mediation services being offered by Mediation Plus were also up to the mark. 
Chair of Trustees Barbara Molog added "While we were confident we have always provided high quality services to our communities, going through this process with SPARK made us think through everything we do again and refresh our systems and procedures. We now have everything in one place so that we can better maintain our standards of service in the future, and will fully involve our Trustees, staff team and volunteers in ensuring we do."
The SQP Awards round off a successful year for Mediation Plus, with Barbara herself having already won the Wealden District Council "Trustee of the Year" award a few months ago and the organizations' recent AGM welcoming two new Trustees onto their Board. Barbara added "As with all small Charitable Organisations, there is a constant need to keep a tight reign on expenditure as well as trying to maintain and grow the services and activities we offer, and it is thanks to all the team in our Hailsham office and the dedication of over 50 volunteer mediators in the community that we have managed to achieve this for another year."
Photo: (L-R) Service Manager Clive Gross, Casework Administrator Catherine Lulham and Time2Talk Coordinator Joan Eades with Mediation Plus's Gold, Silver and Bronze SQP Award certificates.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Mediation Plus launches ‘Get to Go’ Communication Skills Workshops

Mediation Plus – the community mediation service for Eastbourne and Wealden - are launching a new series of one-day workshops to help people take a fresh look at their skills and how they communicate.

‘Get to Go’ is aimed at people over 19 who are currently unemployed or out of the workforce who are looking to get back into training, education, employment or volunteering in the Wealden and Eastbourne areas. 

The one-day workshops – funded through the European Social Fund and Skills Funding Agency Community Grants scheme - will be running in Crowborough, Eastbourne, Hailsham, Heathfield and Uckfield from late October. They have been specially designed to help improve the participants confidence and communication skills. 

The day will combine practical opportunities to take a fresh look at how to use current skills and interests to move to the next stage, and will conclude in January with a networking event with the chance to meet with local businesses, organisations and individuals who will talk about their experiences and how they might help.

Mediation Plus Service Manager Clive Gross said “This is a new departure for our organisation, but one that builds on our skills and experience as a specialist training provider as well as many years working in our local community, helping people to communicate clearly and build their confidence to speak up about issues they may have.”

Places are free and can be booked by emailing or calling 01323 442781. Workshop dates and venues are:
October 29th – Heathfield Community Centre 
November 5th – Hailsham East Community Centre
November 11th – Uckfield Civic Centre
November 17th - Leaf Hall Arts Centre, Eastbourne
November 24th – The Saffron Centre (3VA), Eastbourne
December 5th – Crowborough Community Centre

Any local businesses or organisations that would like to participate in the January networking event should contact Clive Gross at Mediation Plus on 01323 442781 or email

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Trustee of the Year seeks new colleagues ahead of Mediation Plus AGM

Mediation Plus Chair of Trustees and Wealden District Council 'Trustee of the Year 2014' award winner Barbara Molog (pictured receiving her award from Cllr Brian Redman) is looking for new colleagues to join the Board of the community mediation charity at their forthcoming AGM in October.
The Hailsham based organisation has been providing mediation and conflict resolution services through their team of over 50 accredited volunteer mediators since 2006 - including their highly regarded Time2Talk intergenerational mediation service for young people which is supported by BBC Children in Need. The Board of Trustees plays a pivotal role in helping the three part-time management team and volunteers develop and deliver the service across Eastbourne, Wealden and Lewes and is made up of a mix of mediators and people from outside of the organisation with a wide variety of skills and backgrounds.
Barbara, who joined the Board of Mediation Plus in 2012 said "I have found the last two years very rewarding and have been delighted that we have been able to help keep Mediation Plus running through challenging times for the voluntary sector, while expanding new services such as delivering accredited mediation training to local communities. We now want to bring in some new Trustees with different backgrounds and experience to help us keep developing new ways to spread mediation and conflict resolution skills to more people."
Mediation Plus deals with referrals from local authorities, neighbourhood police teams, housing associations and social or children's services and would be especially interested to hear from prospective Trustees who work or have experience in these areas, as well as in business development, finance, marketing or legal services. Trustees meet six times a year and take specific interest in different parts of the service.
Barbara added "Having had a long career in education and training, it has been particularly pleasing that I have been able to get involved with Mediation Plus development as a training centre with the Open College Network and that we have been the first training organisation in the country to create an accredited Intergenerational Mediation qualification, which we have now delivered to other community mediation services such as Brighton and West Sussex."
Anyone interested in becoming a Trustee with Mediation Plus can find out more about them on their website or speak to their Service & Development Manager Clive Gross on 01323 442781.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

PCC funding boost for Mediation Plus

Mediation Plus was one of over 60 local organisations awarded grants totaling almost £300,000 from the Safer in Sussex Community Fund by Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne in Lewes last week from more than 90 applications made to the fund.
Working together with colleagues from community mediation services in Brighton, Hastings and West Sussex to make a joint bid as the Sussex Mediation Alliance, the application had to demonstrate support for the priorities set out in the PCC's Police and Crime Plan, including tackling antisocial behavior and addressing community priorities such as drug and alcohol harm, as well as reducing reoffending and the impact of domestic abuse and hate crime.
The Sussex Mediation Alliance was awarded funding of £30,000 to support the four services, who together provide domestic, intergenerational and family mediation services across East Sussex, West Sussex and Brighton & Hove. The will help to ensure the continued provision of voluntary dispute resolution to residents and communities across the county.

Clive Gross, Mediation Plus Service Manager said: "This funding is vital to help preserve our work with our local Neighbourhood Policing Teams in Eastbourne and Wealden, providing them with a valuable early-intervention service that can prevent disputes escalating and ending in serious incidents. Over 600 community mediation referrals are serviced every year across Sussex. Mediation can help to assist in the prevention of crime and reduce the levels of crime and antisocial behavior as well as addressing the fear of crime. Police officers are also offered suitable training on how to make appropriate referrals to mediation and how to encourage parties to take part, prior to any intervention."

"By working together as the Sussex Mediation Alliance, we can offer community based mediation and conflict resolution services to individuals, organisations and agencies across both counties to a high and consistent standard of services in terms of quality and working practices.
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne added: "I am delighted with the initial response to the Fund. The sheer number of applications received reflects the huge number of local organisations and community groups who are committed to keeping Sussex safe.
“I will be closely following the progress of these projects over the coming months to monitor the real impact they are delivering for residents in Sussex.”