Mediation Service – a model for community cohesion

ICR’s overarching remit is to work to promote and support good relations, diversity and respect, which are among the fundamental principles of any cohesive, shared and safe community.  ICR is well aware of the tensions that can arise in and between communities around issues such as flags, murals, memorials and around issues of racism, sectarianism and associated with the continued presence of paramilitary organisations. ICR recognises that such issues can and do have a negative impact on people’s sense of personal and collective safety and security and thus on the process of building and sustaining a shared future in Northern Ireland.  Mediation is one of the services ICR can provide to address such issues.

ICRs primary approach is to respond to and address the issues and problems and the needs of people in danger of community conflict, quickly and effectively, while offering a mediation service that is adaptable to meet the specific needs of each particular case.

ICR have a mediation model, which has been designed and tested over many years, that gives a professional service of delivery within an agreed, specified timeframe. However, within this defined model our staff have the necessary experience to design a bespoke intervention with flexibility to address identified and emergent issues.

Tensions may arise as a result of many social interactions between individuals and these may disrupt good relations within a community.

ICR’s Mediation model can be used to address tensions and disputes, between individuals, within a family or in a community, promptly and effectively so that they do not fester or escalate. Such disputes can both grow out of and contribute to bad relations, and disputes that are left untreated or treated ineffectively can have a wider negative impact and lead to acts of violence and may spread to involve wider social and intergenerational networks.  Such negative relations may begin with a dispute between one or two people which if not addressed has the potential to spiral very quickly into a situation that can polarise a community, result in people feeling threatened and or intimidated to leave the area. Such bad relations may also have a negative impact on wider relationships in a town, and on the capacity of other statutory agencies to be able to work and deliver services.

ICR will always aim to work in partnership with all key stakeholders with the aim of securing a sustainable outcome to any mediation or facilitated process.