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.