What you see on this site is the start of a vision: a vision where every child and young person in UK whose parents are separating hears about Voices in the Middle – through an on-line search, from a teacher, from a friend or family member, from a family lawyer or mediator or judge. And when they arrive here, they will get immediate reassurance from other young people and pointers to further help if they want it.
We have a long way to go but, in partnership with family lawyers and family mediators, and steered by young people through a Youth Council, we will get there!
All the content on this site has been produced by young people and selected by our Youth Council:
- Nivethan Balakulendran
- Mia Goodwright
- Anya Greig
- Emily Morris
- Sarah Walmsley
- Gemma Pollard
- Robert Jackson
- Simrita Lota
- Sophie Caldicott
- Shysta Manzoor
If you would like to volunteer for the Council, contact us!
Voices in the Middle is a website of the charity Kids in the Middle (number 1153731).
An Advisory Board of eminent family lawyers and mediators helps us to get strong long-term support from professionals. The members are:
- Professor Anne Barlow, University of Exeter Law School, co-author of Mapping Paths to Family Justice (Universities of Exeter and Kent, June 2014)
- Alison Bull, solicitor and mediator, Mills & Reeve, Manchester, Chair of Resolution’s Professional Standards Committee
- Adrienne Cox, Devon and Exeter Mediation Practice, member of Family Mediation Standards Board
- Norman Hartnell, managing partner and mediator, Family Law Practice, Exeter
- Philippa Johnson, Turner Johnson Mediation, London, FMA Board member and newsletter editor
- (Chair) Lisa Parkinson, Bristol, family mediator, trainer with Resolution in child-inclusive mediation, Vice-President of the FMA
- James Pirrie, solicitor and family mediator, Family Law in Partnership, London
- Helen Pittard, solicitor and family mediator, 174 Law, Birkenhead, Wirral
- Dominic Raeside, family mediator, Family Law in Practice, London, member of Family Justice Council, Chief Assessor for FMC accreditation
- Elaine Richardson, solicitor and family mediator, Morecrofts, Liverpool, member of the Law Society’s Family Law Committee
- Ruth Smallacombe, family mediator and FMA trainer in child-inclusive mediation, Family Law in Practice, London
- Alison Fernandes, Partner at Irwin Mitchell and Head of the Family team in Cambridge
- Karin Walker, KGW Family Law and Chair of Resolution’s Dispute Resolution Committee
- Tracy Winstanley, Heaney Watson, Liverpool
Our work is supported by partners who are law and mediation firms. Members run local marketing partnerships with the charity to reach out to young people and to raise funds at the same time.
We have three Trustees – Ivar Grey, Andy Taurins and Peter Gavan – and they meet regularly in South Wales. The work of the charity is managed by Duncan Fisher OBE.
Everything we do you can see on this website. We don’t have offices, which means we run with incredibly low overheads. Other support services for young people in separating families keep closing down because they run out of money. One way to protect against that is to have very low running costs!
We are campaigning for three things:
- To uphold the right of the child of separating parents to be listened to when decisions are being taken that concern them, in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Children Article 12. To promote different ways of making this possible in family law and mediation.
- To obtain Legal Aid Agency funding to cover the additional costs of including children and young people in family mediation, where either one or both parents qualify for legally aided mediation.
- To build and make widely available a website and social media tools under the name of “Voices in the Middle” – configured and operated by young people themselves – to meet the information needs of children of all ages in separating families.
How are we different?
All our work is supervised by young people.
All our advice for young people and for parents is provided by young people.
We are small and plan to remain small by working in partnership with others, so we can focus everything on doing our job well and be sustainable.