News Release

East Surrey Community Mediation wins Big Lottery Fund grant

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LISTEN, TALK, RESOLVE Project

East Surrey Community Mediation Charity based in Reigate has received a grant of £9 892 from the Big Lottery Fund, which will expand our capacity to help residents in dispute with their neighbours.

In 2013 we experienced a large increase in demand for our help.  This increase has come as a result of a local press campaign, launch of a new website and working more closely with the local police, housing associations and individual community members. We have neither sufficient capacity nor the technical infrastructure to handle such an increase in volume.

The grant from the Big Lottery Fund will be invested in

  • Training of 16 new volunteer mediators
  • Development of automated tools for case administration to manage cases on a greater scale while controlling costs and managing quality
  • Expanding awareness of our free mediation service, giving the entire community knowledge of a peaceful alternative to resolving differences at an early stage.

The best chance for successful mediation comes when individuals approach us before the situation escalates.  For this reason we want to increase awareness of our service to the general public, not just via other organizations.

John Whetsel, the General Manager, said ‘We are both proud and excited by this grant which will enable us to serve 50% more of the estimated 7500 neighbour disputes in East Surrey while maintaining effectiveness and quality.  Certainly this grant goes a long way to The Big Lottery Fund’s commitment to bring real improvements to communities and the lives of people.’

East Surrey Community Mediation

We offer independent, impartial and confidential mediation to local residents, businesses and organizations.  Mediation is an informal yet structured process that brings those in dispute together to explore options for settling matters in a mutually acceptable way—before situations intensify.  The service is free for all community members thanks to the funding and service agreements of local councils, housing providers, the Surrey police, individual donors and the many hours donated by specially trained volunteers.

East Surrey Community Mediatio is an independent charity serving the boroughs of Reigate & Banstead and Tandridge.  It was founded in 1997 in response to Surrey County Council’s Safer Surrey initiative by the Reigate & Banstead Borough Council and was soon joined by the Tandridge District Council.

Big Lottery Fund

The Big Lottery Fund, the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.

The Fund is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since its inception in 2004 Big Lottery Fund has awarded close to £6bn.

The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.

For further information, images and interviews please contact:

John Whetsel – General Manager – johnw@ESCM.org.uk or 07939157519

Kasia Janes – Communications – kasiaj@ESCM.org.uk or 07795332141