Keeping the peace

Derwent Living is helping its tenants to keep the peace with a new mediation team to help resolve disputes between neighbours. 

Selected following a rigorous recruitment process, team members have completed a training programme with UK Mediation, a leading provider of mediation and mediation training based in the Derbyshire town of Belper.

The new mediation team, which is made up of six customers and six members of staff, is expected to start handling cases for the East Midlands housing provider in May.

Mitch Allseybrook, resident involvement manager, said: “It’s amazing how neighbour disputes can really impact on people’s lives, often in a quite disproportionate way. Our mediators can help residents to put things in perspective, talk to each other and find solutions which are agreeable to both parties.  Most people are willing to change what they do when they realise how it affects others.”

“We were staggered by the amount of interest we got when we decided to provide our own service. We were able to be highly selective in choosing the final twelve.  The team we’ve got has a fantastic range of skills and life experiences and we believe customers will greatly value the service they provide.”

The team will work in pairs to help disputing neighbours reach an agreement that both sides are prepared to accept.  Typical disputes include noise disturbance, nuisance from pets and parking issues.  Mediation can be a useful way to settle such issues in a constructive way and without formal measures.

Derwent Living decided to set up the mediation team to provide a cost effective and responsive service to its customers.