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Train to gain life skills in Gateshead

Date 31 Oct 2007
Author The Editor

A North East charity is offering people across the region an opportunity to gain skills that can help them get a job - and at the same time give something back to the community.

UNITE, a mediation and conciliation service has just won the contract to provide community mediation services in the Gateshead area, and is looking to recruit volunteers to help provide the service.

An eight day training course, which will ultimately lead towards an Open College Network qualification in mediation, is due to start on Saturday 10 November in Gateshead.

Rachel Lofthouse, Mediator and Conciliator Supervisor with UNITE, said: "The course covers a wide range of transferable skills that could help make volunteer mediators more attractive to potential employers. These include communication skills, conflict management, listening and questioning skills, assertiveness and managing meetings."

Following completion of the course, Trainee Mediators are asked to spare a few hours a month to help resolve community based disputes. Their first cases are conducted with the support of an experienced mediator who acts as a mentor. Continuous, ongoing training is provided by UNITE and once trained, volunteer mediators are asked to commit to being a volunteer for a minimum of 18 months.

Sally Gill of Safer Gateshead Partnership said: "Neighbourhood disputes can cause the parties involved a lot of stress and unhappiness and the solution is often very straightforward. "This new service will build on what was previously provided by Gateshead Council and we hope will go a long way towards removing problems that can make life uncomfortable for Gateshead residents."

For more information and to obtain an application pack, contact Rachel Lofthouse on 0191 454 7700 or email enquiries

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