“It’s my life too!” Have a say through talking to a family mediator

If your parents split up, you have the right to have a say in the arrangements they make for you. It’s in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (article 12).

Some parents work things out by talking with their children and agreeing things together, but it’s much more difficult for you when parents disagree or can’t speak to each other.

we need a family mediator

Many family mediators are trained and experienced in meeting with young people and children, as well as mediating between parents.

Talking with a family mediator – what is it like?

Usually the young person has a conversation on their own with the mediator, without parents present.

Young people are not asked to make choices or take responsibility for decisions and the conversation is confidential – the mediator does not make reports to the court like a social worker and only passes on the messages, wishes or suggestions to parents that the young person asks them to.

Normally, the parents need to be taking part in mediation and they need to give their consent to the mediator having a separate, confidential conversation with their child or children.

Feedback from young people shows they found it very helpful to meet with the mediator who knows both their parents and who can help explain things to parents. Young people are in the middle and so is the mediator! Parents say they found it very helpful to understand better how their children feel and what would help to make things work better for them. Often, parents take their children’s ideas on board and things get settled by agreement without court proceedings, or if court proceedings are already going on, they may be brought to an end by consent.

This video shows an interesting example of one way that mediation involving young people can work. The two girls (who are actors, in fact) said they wanted to talk with their parents with the mediator’s help. More often the mediator passes on a young person’s message or proposal to parents without the young person being present. The parents have already agreed that they will not press the young person to tell them more about what they said to the mediator, nor get angry with them about it. Usually, thankfully, it is the opposite – the whole family say they are communicating more easily and that everyone is feeling relieved.

Family mediators accedited with the Family Mediation Council with qualifications and experience in meeting with young people and children

Here is a list of family mediators who offer to meet with young people (generally aged 10 and over) whose parents are taking part in mediation or who could be encouraged to go to mediation. The mediators on this list can provide further information about the services they offer.


Bath: John Brownrigg & Rebecca Eels, Stone King, JohnBrownrigg@stoneking.co.ukRebeccaEels@stoneking.co.uk, 01225 337599

Bristol: Frances Place, Progressive Mediation, 07889 039393

Bristol: Lisa Parkinson, ABW Family Mediation, lisaparkinson@btinternet.com, 0117 950 0140


Birmingham & West Midlands: Jane Wilson, Hall Smith Whittingham Mediation, jwilson@hswsolicitors.co.uk, 01270 259700

Macclesfield: Liz Mathews, Cheshire Mediation, 07909 540368


Hartlepool: Jane Affleck, Changing Futures North East, admin@changingfuturesne.co.uk, 01429 891444 / 07852 633928

Middlesbrough: Alison Pybus, alisonpybus@yahoo.co.uk, 07857 613770

Wallsend: Alice Pickard, Mediation Associates, alice.pickard@mediationassociates.org.uk, 0191 908 8693 / 07910 469 963


Carlisle: Jan Fotheringham, Cumbria Family Law, jan.fotheringham@cumbriafamilylaw.co.uk, 01228 829530


Derbyshire, Alison Tremeer, Peak Mediation, amtremeer@gmail.com


Exeter: Adrienne Cox, Devon & Exeter Mediation Practice, ac@devexmediation.co.uk, 01392 409094

Exeter: Norman Hartnell, The Family Law Company, Norman.Hartnell@thefamilylawco.com, 01392 421777

Exeter: Penny Rogers, Devon Family Solutions, help@devonfamilysolutions.co.uk, 01392 454940

Exeter: Terry Bastyan, Gilbert Stephens Family Mediation, mediation@gilbertstephens.co.uk, 01392 677176

Plymouth: Helen Shea & Mabel Edge, Children, Young People and Family Services, helen.shea@plymouth.gcsx.gov.uk / mabel.edge@plymouth.gcsx.gov.uk, 07990 783158 / 07500 122735


Dorchester: Tara Knight, Tara Knight Family Mediation, taraknightmediator@gmail.com, 07879 666063


Leigh-on-Sea: Lorraine Colombi, Divorce and Separation Solutions, Info@divorcesols.co.uk, 01702 522425 / 07583 281492

Stansted: Jonathan Pease, New Landscape Mediation, jpeasemediation@gmail.com, 01279 211 657

Essex: Hazel Skelton, Essex Mediation, info@essexmediation.co.uk, 01245 492200


Dorset: Bella Holliday, Mediation Yeovil, 07979 526 401

Dorset: John Hind, The Compass Resolution Network, john@compass-resolution.co.uk, 01392 842482

Poole and Bournemouth: Gemma Burden, Kenneth Clarke, Becky Vallory, Michelle Bettell, gemma@laceysmediation.co.uk, 01202 721822


Bishops Cleeve, Cheltenham Cirencester, Eveham, Gloucester, Moreton-in-Marsh, Tewkesbury: Jane Cromack and team, Mediation and More, office@mediationandmore.co.uk, 0800 779 7600

Cheltenham: Nicholas von Benzon, Cheltenham Mediation Services, info@familymediator.org.uk, 01242 220601


Southampton: Louisa Dickson, Southern Family Mediation, 07478 320010 / 03333 660057

Southampton, Whiteley: Theresa Le Bas, Mediation Matters, theresalebas@gmail.com, 07866 242766

Southampton: Laceys Mediation, gemma@laceysmediation.co.uk, 02380715432


Milton Keynes: Mary Banham-Hall and team, Focus Mediation, 01908410508


Canterbury & Tenterden: Nigel Clarke, Kent and Surrey Family Resolution, nigelclarke@johnsonclarke.co.uk, 01227 811740


Blackburn: Tony Wood, Hardman Wood Family Mediation, tonywood@hardman-wood.co.uk, 01254 295540

Bolton: Liz Tait Divorce Jigsaw, liz@divorcejigsaw.co.uk, 07908 917 999

Carlisle, Kendal, Lancaster, Merseyside, Workington: Judy Park, National Family Mediation, judy.park64@gmail.com

Wigan: Janette Wood, Janette Wood Mediation, jwood@janettewoodmediation.co.uk, 07948189346


Philippa Johnson & Sheila Turner, Turner Johnson Mediation, info@turnerjohnsonmediation.co.uk

Bromley: Katherine Stylianou & Marian Roberts, South East London Family Mediation Bureau, 020 8315 7460

Finsbury Park: Sarah Beskine, Hopkin Murray Beskine, sb@hmbsolicitors.co.uk, 020 7272 1234

SE1: Kim Beatson, Anthony Gold Solicitors, kim.beatson@anthonygold.co.uk, 020 7940 4000

WC1: Adrian Clarke, The Child and Family Practice, adrianclarke6@gmail.com, 020 7034 2690

WC2: Dominic Raeside, Family Law in Partnership Ltd, dr@flip.co.uk, 020 7420 5000 / 07989 303637

WC2: Ruth Smallacombe, Family Law in Partnership Ltd, rs@flip.co.uk, 020 7420 5000


Birkenhead, Helen Pittard, 174 Law, Helen.Pittard@174law.co.uk, 051 647 7372

Bromborough: Graeme Roberts, 174 Law, graeme.roberts@wflms.co.uk, 0151 647 7372

Liverpool: Carole Brennan, Morecrofts, cb@morecrofts.co.uk, 0151 924 9234

Liverpool: Pat Davies, MSB Solicitors, PatDavies@msbsolicitors.co.uk, 0151 281 9040

Liverpool: Tracy Winstanley, Heaney Watson, taw@heaneywatson.com, 0800 5677597

Manchester: Jenny Cragg, Manchester Family Mediation Solutions Ltd, 0161 820 8267

Stockport: Jacqueline Gregory, jacquelinegregory@btinternet.com, 01614 568125


Northampton: Adrian Wright, Focus Mediation, 01908 410508


Mansfield: Angela Donen, Bryan and Armstrong Solicitors, helen.tomlinson@bryanandarmstrong.co.uk, 01623 624505

Mansfield: Elizabeth Bilton & Jennie Byrne, Midlands Mediation, enquiries@midlandsmediation.co.uk, 01623 675845


Oxfordshire: Roger Cullen and team, Oxfordshire Family Mediation, 0844 8476658


Whitchurch: Jane Wilson, Hall Smith Whittingham Mediation, jwilson@hswsolicitors.co.uk, 01270 259700


Yeovil: Bella Holliday, Mediation Yeovil, info@relationshipsomersetcounselling.co.uk, 07979 526 401

Somerset: Frances Place, The Compass Resolution Network, john@compass-resolution.co.uk, 01392 842482


Stafford: Ann Henshaw, Neil Robinson, Family Mediation Centre, emma@fmcstaffs.co.uk, 01785 747322

Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stoke: Jane Wilson, Hall Smith Whittingham Mediation, jwilson@hswsolicitors.co.uk, 01270 259700


Sunderland: Jackie Norton, Impact Family Services, JackieNorton@nfm.org.uk, 07811 218586


Ashtead, Guildford, Kingston-upon-Thames, Reigate, Epsom, Leatherhead, Dorking, Sutton: Helen Slade, Rapport Family Mediation, info@rapportfamilymediation.co.uk, 07979 600386

Godalming: Karen Barham, Barlow Robbins Solicitors, karenbarham@barlowrobbins.com, 07774 495963

Hampton Hill: Helen Keville, Gillian Krajewski, Margaret Pendlebury, Chris Richards, MiD Mediation and Counselling, admin@midmediation.co.uk, 020 8891 6860

Redhill (for Victoria, Clapham, Croydon, Sutton, Redhill, East Grinstead): Mumtaz King, Mike Stepan & Shomini Whiting, Divorce and Separation Centre, office@fml.uk.com, 01737 772333

Teddington: Nigel Clarke, Kent and Surrey Family Resolution, nigelclarke@johnsonclarke.co.uk, 01227 811740

Woking: Karin Walker, KGW Family Law, karinwalker@kgwfamilylaw.com, 01483 375788


Brighton: Penny Dunne, Family Mediation in Sussex, Penny.Dunne@FMIS.org.uk, 01273 621121

Shoreham-by-Sea: Susan Nathan, Delta Family Mediation, deltafamilymediation@gmail.com, 07775 426220


Warwickshire: Jane Cromack, Stratford Mediation and More, office@mediationandmore.co.uk, 0800 779 7600


Kidderminster: Mandy Nardiello, Mediation and More, office@mediationandmore.co.uk, 0800 779 7600

Worcester: Paul Kemp, The Worcester Family Mediation Practice, paul@twfmp.co.uk, 01905 730640


Leeds: Anne Braithwaite & Vanessa Stirum, Anne Braithwaite Mediation Chambers, anne.braithwaite@abchambers.co.uk / vanessa.stirum@gmail.com, 0113 3571481

Huddersfield and West Yorkshire: Alexis Walker, Wilkinson Woodward Norcliffe & Co, ajw@wilkinsonwoodward.co.uk, 01484 483 800

Halifax, Skipton, Otley, West Yorkshire: Penny Manock, Wilkinson Woodward Bearderspjm@wilkinsonwoodward.co.uk, 01422 339 600


Photos: Tarik Browne. Creative Commons.