Community Mediation Services

Smile provides a range of mediation services – Community, Family, Workplace, Restorative Justice and Hate Crime.

Our Community mediation helps neighbours in dispute to resolve their issues in a structured and positive way. The process of mediation begins with the initial phone call to you. We will arrange for an appointment for our mediators to see you at your home and they will explore all options that are available. Our mediators are experts in helping you find solutions to your issues and, through the structured process of mediation, will work with you and your neighbour so you can reach a solution that is fair to all parties and one that you have chosen. This keeps the solution in your hands, rather than having one imposed upon you by other agencies which may not result in an outcome you are happy with.

Community Case Study – Former Friends

It is only natural when moving to a new property to try to befriend your neighbours. This was the case for Joan who moved into a block of flats, in a new town. Her neighbour Andrea was welcoming and friendly and soon the pair were good friends and this had remained true for almost 2 years. However, the friendship broke down when Joan split from her partner and she reported feeling abandoned by her friend also.

Joan believed that Andrea had sided with her ex-partner and saw them hugging not long after the split. This exacerbated Joan’s feelings of loss and anger and reinforced the belief that her friend was not being supportive. Joan began confiding in other neighbours and a dispute soon followed.

Over a period of one year Joan would report Andrea to the landlord for excessive noise and Andrea would report Joan for verbal abuse and vice versa. Following a confrontation on the street the housing officer became involved and mediation was suggested.

Following the face to face meeting, held by Smile, both parties were able to understand each other respectively and appreciate that there had been a lot of misunderstandings along the way. They both noted how silly it was to turn to people outside of the dispute and that their behaviours and actions over the past year had only exaggerated a highly emotive situation.

Both Joan and Andrea agreed to be civil towards one another, to speak about issues in person rather than to the landlord and are well on their way to repairing their friendship.