Announcing the Permaculture Association's New Mediation Service

The Permaculture Association have arranged with Paul Sandford of Albert Square Mediation Limited (ASM) that in 2017 he will if required undertake voluntary, pro bono, online (Skype) mediations for our organisation in respect of the following:-

  • UK based internal disputes or disagreements between members of the Association be they local, regional or national and whether a formal complaint has been made or otherwise.

  • UK based disputes involving members of the Association and third parties arising out of the work and activities of the Association e.g. commercial type disputes possibly involving customers, clients, trainees, builders, suppliers, landlords, public authorities, employees or employers.

In exceptional circumstances Paul will consider mediating pro bono for members of the Association in other UK dispute related scenarios.

Paul is an experienced mediator with knowledge and practical experience of the permaculture ethos. Subject to the demands based on him by his other commitments he is happy to work for the Association on a case-by-case basis. If for some reason he is unable to assist on a particular case he may be able to ask one of his ASM associates to assist instead.

If you wish to ask Paul to help resolve a dispute or disagreement that you are involved in please email the Association's complaints officer, Harriet Walsh ([email protected]) and provide her with a brief outline of the issues and your contact details. She will pass these on to Paul who will then contact you direct. Paul will not generally make a decision on undertaking an individual mediation until he has at the very least been able to speak to the referring party but he reserves the right to do so.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a safe, confidential, voluntary and timely alternative to more formal types of dispute resolution such as pursuing a formal complaint or disciplinary proceedings or going to court. Mediators do not judge, criticise or impose their views or values on mediatees. Instead, they help disputing parties by facilitating communication and dialogue and helping them to resolve issues in a manner that is acceptable to them and that they are comfortable with. Also, mediation allows for a degree of frankness and candour that could not really be expressed in the more traditional dispute resolution arena.

At the end of an individual mediation, if the disputing and now hopefully resolved parties wish, any agreement that has been reached can be recorded in writing. Overall, in instances where it is used to resolve disputes such as those envisaged above, mediation has an 80% plus success rate. The contents of any such agreement may well become public knowledge but the substance of what was discussed during the substantive mediation process would remain confidential.