Restorative Service for Portsmouth Residents
For all of us there are times in our life when we encounter some form of conflict or dispute; often just within our own household or family but conflicts or difficult situations can arise at other times and places. For example, many drivers will know what ‘road rage’ looks like and how unsettling it can be, thank goodness that in most of these situations the motorists end up driving off never to see each other again. However, when disputes or problems occurs at work or within our neighbourhood and we end up having to return to the situation every day it is much more difficult.
Conflict and anger are a natural part of being human; the challenge for each of us is to remind ourselves it is natural and to seek to repair harm, restore relationships and learn for the future. At Portsmouth Mediation Service (PMS) we know that if a problem is not resolved it will almost certainly go from bad to worse, we know of family and neighbourhood feuds that have been going on for years and no one can even remember how or why they started.
PMS is at the front of an exciting vision to see Portsmouth become known as a Restorative City, we are helping to equip individual citizens and communities with a restorative ‘tool kit’ that can help repair broken relationships and prevent difficult situations from escalating. For example, we are rolling out The Teach Peace programme to every Primary School in and around Portsmouth helping teachers and children to learn new restorative skills that are quickly and visibly transforming the school community.
Sometimes local problems end up escalating, causing huge anxiety and pain for people, in these situations our professional assessment team (pictured above) can and do make a positive difference. Tenants and residents of PCC Housing have direct access to this service; neighbourhood issues and problems can be referred through local housing officers to our service. As part of a new restorative future let us all make an active choice not to live with the distress of unresolved conflict.