Wigan mediators welcome government vouchers scheme

Ince charity TalkFirst will benefit from the new Family Mediation Voucher Scheme

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 7:00 am
Tracy Sheppard and Dave Coghlin at Talk First family mediation charity, based at Ashland House, Ince

A Wigan charity has welcomed a £1m investment by the Government in family mediation which is aimed at helping to resolve issues relating to children stuck in the middle of a marriage breakdown.

Under the Family Mediation Voucher Scheme, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) will provide contributions of up to £500 per family, to tackle issues concerning youngsters following the difficulties of parental separation.

TalkFIRST, a family mediation charity based in Ince, are among the organisations who will benefit from the scheme.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Family mediator Tracy Sheppard, from TalkFIRST, said the funding will mean they can help more parents find a better way to co-parent following separation.

She said: “We are delighted that the MoJ have recognised the importance of mediation and how the process can help parents agree sustainable arrangements for their children.

“During the course of the last year, the pandemic as had huge impact on relationships and family life, we have seen a significant increase in the number of enquiries.

Since the charity started in 2013, it has worked with in the region of 2,300 parents and children.

As is the case with other similar organisations, the charity’s support involves independent professionally trained mediators helping parents work out arrangement for children and finances in situations involving separation.

Mediation can also be helpful when previous child arrangements need to change, particularly as children grow up.

Ms Sheppard added: “For many, the cost of mediation can be prohibitive.

“This funding means we are able to help more local parents find a better way to co-parents following separation, giving their children the best possible experience of a happy family life.”

Mediation will be provided by Family Mediation Council Accredited (FMCA) mediators and the fund will reduce the costs of the process for at least 2,000 families.

John Taylor, chairman of the Family Mediation Council, said: “This government investment in mediation is much welcomed by the Family Mediation Council.

“It will help separated families agree solutions that are best for their children, taking into account what is going to be important for them as they grow up.

“Family mediation is a proven cost-effective way to resolve differences following separation.

“This voucher scheme will make it even more accessible, and will help families resolve issues for themselves, without having to go to court.”

Further information about the scheme, aimed at families who may benefit, can be found by searching for Family Mediation Voucher Scheme on GOV.UK

Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here and viewing our offers ...