Neighbour Dispute Case Study
The case was referred by the Police who had initially been contacted by ‘P’ regarding receiving verbal abuse from ‘B’ and his concern that this was becoming more frequent and had begun happening in front of his children. ‘P’ also had video and audio footage of abuse from ‘B’ toward him. ‘B’ was feeling bullied by ‘P’ with regard to parking and vehicles and argued that ‘P’ was actually abusive toward her also.
B moved into her property in 1999. B was afraid of rules and abiding by them as a result of the negative experiences of being in a convent when she was a young girl. B is attending counselling sessions in order to help her cope with these experiences. B had previously arranged for a letter to be sent to P by her solicitor addressing the issue of parking on the green and the threat of work by P onto his property which would breach the covenants possibly causing draining/ flooding (P did not want to park on his driveway as he wanted to get a caravan).
B had an issue with noise coming from P’s garage and she also had a concern that P was running a business from his garage. P stated to B that the noise was merely the result of a hobby of his. B knew P’s mother personally and used to spend time with her whereby P’s mother used to tell B personal things about P such as that he had been in a motorbike accident previously.
B had asked P to keep his garden neat and P responded by putting up a fence. There had been a small dispute about the boundary of this fence but this seemed to have been resolved before mediation took place. At the beginning of mediation neither party were speaking to each other.
P and B were able to negotiate a mediated agreement. Both P and B agreed that they would no longer be involved in any anti-social or aggressive behaviour toward each other. Both parties agreed that if any activities resulted in the breach of covenants they would inform the appropriate bodies. If either party are unable to enjoy their properties as a result of the actions of their respective neighbour they are given permission to approach that person either verbally or via written means.
The issue of P threatening to breach the covenants was solved as he stopped parking on the green, parking on a driveway instead. B and P have not only been able to satisfy the needs they had from one another but they were also able to recoup a neighbourly relationship of some sort. Mediation Plus has not been contacted by either party or the Police since.
Time2Talk Case Studies
The service provides the opportunity for young people and the adults in their lives to talk freely about the issues that are inhibiting their relationship. The presence of 2 trained impartial mediators facilitates a 'Safe' environment allowing people to address feelings that they may have previously been unable to express.
The statutory agencies that refer to the service see the mediators as a 'key' to unlock their clients and enable them to move forward in their relationships. This in turn impacts on many other areas of the young person's life such as school and risky activities that they may be engaging in. The process helps to renew trust and consequently allows the young person to 'share' their lives more openly with significant adults.
The presenting issues described here were taken directly from the referral form received:
- Clients: Young woman aged 15 and father, (stepmother)
- Referred by: Youth Support Team social worker
YP has lived with her father since 4/5 years old. Her father remarried 7/8 years ago and YP does not get on with her Step Mother. YP refers to her stepmother as 'that thing out there' or, 'it'. She says she used to tolerate her but things have broken down irretrievably; although YP would like things to improve between all 3 of them. YP's mother and new husband live in London, she loves both her mother and step father and see's them monthly. YP's mother has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
YP is a vulnerable young woman experiencing a variety of challenges with regards to school attendance, home life, emotional/mental wellbeing, engaging in risky behaviours such as meeting people via face book and then meeting up with them, engaging in activities of a sexual nature with older males, and dabbles in the use of alcohol, cannabis and cigarettes.
It seems YPs father does care about her wellbeing and wishes to protect her. It appears that he is not historically keen on engaging with support services.
- YP returned to school
- YP has stopped taking drugs
- Spends more time at home
- YP now refers to stepmother by name and a family holiday has been booked
- YP is still visiting her mother, stepfather and brother in London
- The family are now living together as a unit; the mediation allowed them time to listen to each other and consider alternatives to their behaviours, Mediation had a positive impact on their whole lives
A Follow up meeting a month later confirmed that the improvement had been maintained.
- Clients: Young woman aged 17 and mother
- Referred by: Youth Support Team social worker
YP is living with her mother but her mother is out a lot due to meeting a new boyfriend. YP reported that she does not feel safe in their temporary accommodation block of flats. She has no facilities to wash clothes, and looks unkempt. She is presenting as listless, confused and detached at college. Her attendance is very poor.
Mum says she is struggling to cope with YP who can be angry and aggressive towards her during disputes. She admits to leaving her on her own for long periods and says she does this because she finds her difficult.
There are questions around who is responsible for what in the home in terms of YP’s basic needs being met. Mum wishes she would be more independent, but YP finds this hard and believes her mother should do more to support and care for her.
Earlier in the year YP took an overdose of recreational drugs and was taken to hospital. There have been other occasions over the years that she has attempted suicide.
The parties were encouraged to work together on household chores. YP was also encouraged to be more independent, she started spending more time with her older siblings, as mother was not prepared to change her life to accommodate YP. Mediation enabled the young woman to appreciate that her mother was not able to give her much support and that she at 17 would have to consider her own options, as her siblings before her. The Social Worker continued to support YP with housing etc.
- Clients: Boy aged 14 and mother (father and younger sister)
- Referred by: Father on the advice of the school and police
When he was born, his mother had post natal depression and did not bond with her son, so the father did everything for him as a baby. His sister was born within 2 years. From the age of two the YP has hit out physically at his mother requiring the father to return home to calm the situation.
He has always presented problems at school from nursery, for fighting and creating a disturbance in class. Recently he has been in trouble with the police for damaging property. There is a lack of trust within the family and YP argues constantly with his sister. When spoken to alone, YP claimed that he was being bullied at school.
YP was encouraged to engage in 1-2-1 activities with his mother, he wants to be a chef so they cook a meal once a week and play Wii games. Boundaries were agreed on TV times, times to return home and giving parents some quality time alone.
YP's behaviour has improved greatly, he and Mum found common ground on which to build their relationship. The calmer environment allowed Dad to go to work without worrying and the siblings argued a lot less. Behaviour at school also improved and the school were made aware of the bullying.
A follow up visit after 1 month confirmed that the improvement was maintained.