The Canterbury & Districts Mediation Service (known as The Mediation Service) is based in Whitstable, Kent. The Service covers the Canterbury and Thanet Council districts for community,schools and workplace mediation.
The organisation was formed in 1989 by Canon Derek Russell, and was originally named Whitstable Opportunity for Reparation and Mediation … or WORM, as it was locally known.
The Service has developed considerably and currently we are funded through a combination of local authority support and other trusts and charitable organisations. We have a small staff team, sessional workers plus over 20 volunteer mediators.
We successfully liaise with Kent Police, many organisations including The Probation Service, The Prison Service, Youth Offending Service, Kent County Council, Canterbury City Council and Thanet District Council. The Mediation Service is also in partnership with the Canterbury Community Safety Partnership and Thanet Community Safety Partnership, to work with our communities and neighbourhoods and those exhibiting anti-social behaviour
In April 2004 it was decided, in line with many other voluntary organisations, to change the status of the service to that of a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee. The service achieved the Communiy Legal Service Quality Mark status in May 2005. Our Chief Executive is a trustee of the Restorative Justice Council and is a board member of Kent Mediation.
We are a Registered Learning Centre with the Open College Network, providing Accredited training for volunteers Canterbury Christchurch University and our own office suite. The Mediation Foundation Course carries 15 credits at Level 3, and is often the starting point for those that wish to continue into higher education, or into a professional mediation career.
We have a number of specialist staff with different qualifications and experience. For example;
Chief Executive- Wendy Freshman has over 15 years industry experience with A City and Guilds Diploma in Restorative Practice and a BTEC Professional Award in Restorative Practice.
Associate - Stuart Robins has over 10 years industry experience with A City and Guilds Diploma in Restorative Practice.