The volunteers helping find a solution

VOLUNTEERS from West Sussex Mediation Service handled 210 referrals last year, finding solutions to a wide variety of community based disputes.

They concerned issues ranging from noise disturbance, verbal abuse, antisocial behaviour, harassment, boundaries and gardens disputes, parking and access problems, intergenerational issues, damage limitation and communal and shared access disputes.

Volunteers’ Week from June 1 to 7 is the perfect time to celebrate the tireless effort and support made by such volunteers.

The service currently relies on the support of 60 volunteers, including 45 volunteer community mediators, who are all trained in conflict resolution.

Many are accredited with the Open College Network and have considerable experience, having been with the service for many years.

With an ever-increasing workload and constant demand on the mediation service with new referrals, there is an ongoing community need for the free mediation service that WSMS, at Alphacom House, 8A Oakhill Road, provides.

Volunteers are essential lifeblood for the local charity and without them the service couldn’t continue.

Fundraising is therefore essential, especially in the current economic climate, and service co-ordinator Nick Handley is appealing to people interested in giving up some of their free time and becoming a fundraiser for WSMS, to get in touch.

“Fundraiser activities and charity event organising play an important part in sustaining our livelihood and we rely heavily on financial donations from individuals, beneficiaries and local businesses to secure revenue streams in order to continue this vitally important service.”

If you fancy becoming a fundraiser for West Sussex Mediation Service, Nick Handley would be delighted to hear from you.

He can be contacted on 01403 257800 or emailed at