A Battersea based mediation service is offering free conflict resolution to temper rising tensions in the borough over lockdown.

According to the Wandsworth Mediation Service (WMS) rows between neighbours, families and couples soared during the UK’s first lockdown, with a further increase projected for this Winter.

Findings revealed that households are getting more heated as they adapt to confined spaces, spend extra time together and face external stresses such as redundancy and financial hardship.

The charity noticed an uptake in their services as a result, with requests for community mediation doubling since March 2020. The biggest rise in mediation enquiries was amongst couples (152%), families (54%) and neighbours (100%).

Established in 2004, the WMS is offering free coaching and conflict resolution to guide locals through tense times.

WMS Operations Director, Jenny Reid, explains how the charity’s free services can help with a neighbour conflict.

“The first thing we do is listen - people don’t listen enough anymore. Then we see if we can mediate and set up a Zoom call with both parties and a mediator.

Each party can speak their mind and we de-escalate it, so it’s not finger-pointing. Then we ask how you would resolve the issue, so parties come up with solutions themselves which is empowering.

WMS has over 50 volunteer mediators, most of whom live locally and go through rigorous training to be qualified to support others.

Wandsworth Times:

“It’s life-changing – if you have a conflict with someone inside or outside your house it consumes you especially when fewer. People want to live in a harmonious environment, they don’t want to feel upset, or angry in their own home. They want to be able to pass each other in a hallway or outside and say hello,” said Jenny Reid.

The charity also offers training courses and workshops to people of all ages, to encourage stronger communication and conflict management.

Programmes are available across Wandsworth’s primary and secondary schools and include conflict awareness workshops for struggling pupils and training for teachers.

You can find out more here or alternatively, to refer a case to WMS you can call 020 7223 7744 or email wms@wandsworthmediation.co.uk