The Nelson Good Neighbour Volunteer Mediator Program pre-launches with a celebratory barbecue at Lakeside Park Rotary Shelter this Sunday at 3:30 p.m. This will be a relaxing family event open to all, including hamburgers, veggie burgers and hot dogs grilled by your mediators (donations and pot luck contributions welcome).
This program is an initiative of Transition Nelson Society with training developed and delivered by the Mir Centre for Peace at Selkrirk College, modeled after a successful program in Toronto. As previously reported in the Star, a dozen enthusiastic community-minded volunteers, many with previous professional experience in this domain undertook the training.
Referrals will include direct access for all residents of Nelson by calling a designated telephone number. Where deemed appropriate, referral protocols are being developed from City of Nelson staff as well the Nelson Police Department and by-law enforcement.
The intention is to reduce the load on municipal resources and regain the capacity to settle disputes, over the fence or a cup of tea, rather than judging or complaining about each other to third parties.
Where possible, at least one of a team of two mediators will come from disputants’ own neighbourhood.
The main focus of the program is to develop a culture of mutual support and understanding amongst neighbours, rebuilding the fabric of community which preceded the distance that came with automobile based lifestyles.
Transition Nelson Society is part of a global movement to address the converging challenges of the 21st Century by enhancing community resilience. For more information go to transitionnelson.org.