Family rows and neighbour disputes during the coronavirus crisis lead to plea from Horsham charity

An increase in neighbour disputes and family conflicts during the Covid pandemic has prompted a plea for help from a Horsham-based charity.

West Sussex Mediation Service is seeking extra volunteers to help cope with demand for its services.

It is looking for individuals who can offer volunteering time in return for free accredited training.

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Charity spokesman Nick Handley said: “Our volunteers are our lifeblood.

Park House, Horsham

“Our mediators find their work hugely rewarding and many remain with us for the long term.

“They become hooked when they experience that ‘lightbulb moment’ when they break the deadlock in a difficult dispute.”

Volunteers will undergo an online training course towards the end of September and into October. Candidates, thecharity says, should be good listeners and communicators, be able to abide by strict confidentiality rules, be impartial and non-judgemental.

The organisation, which is based at Park House in Horsham, received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2019.

It is currently trying to boost funds in a crowdfunding initiative. See https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/combating-conflict-during-co

It is also organising a virtual balloon race fundraiser which will run for seven days ending on Halloween.

For more details on volunteering and the fundraisers, visit www.wsms.org.uk or contact Nick Handley on 01403 800182.