FENLANDER: Volunteers sought to help solve disputes between neighbours

VOLUNTEERS are being sought to help resolve issues between neighbours before they escalate into serious disputes.

The Cambridge and District Community Mediation Service (CDCMS) is extending its service into Fenland next year. It is offering free training to anyone over 18 willing to devote a few evenings each month to help people settle their differences.

Fenland District Council has worked with the CDCMS and the Rosmini Centre in Wisbech to help bring the new service to Fenland.

Gary Dransfield, from CDCMS, said: “Many people have issues with their neighbours over noise, parking, pets, rubbish or perhaps a hundred other things. In the heat of the moment they can get angry or frustrated, tempers flare and the whole thing escalates.

“Often individuals don’t realise the effect their behaviour is having on others. Mediation not only helps to sort out particular issues, it can also help to change people’s attitudes towards each other and bring whole communities closer together.

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“Mediation isn’t about judging people, pointing the finger or taking sides. We’re looking for people who are good listeners, patient and open-minded, and who are keen to learn new skills.”

Anyone interested must be available to attend two three-day training sessions at the Rosmini Centre next spring. The first is on March 16-18, with another on March 30-April 1. The training leads to a qualification accredited by the National Open College Network.

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• Applications must be received by January 9. For full details call CDCMS on 01223 302514 or e-mail cdcms@btconnect.com as soon as possible.

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