When volunteering, most people use the skills that they have developed in their working lives to assist them.
I, on the other hand, have been fortunate enough to develop from my voluntary work new skills that I find invaluable, not only in my professional life, but also in my day-to-day life.
I have been mediating within the Ismaili Community for the last 9 years on a voluntary basis, having been appointed to the UK National Conciliation and Arbitration Board since 2005. After completing an intensive mediation training programme in Portugal, which was attended by some of the Portuguese judiciary, I began mediating upon a variety of commercial, matrimonial and family disputes.
Thereafter I undertook additional training with ADRg and, after completing their accredited mediator training programme, I qualified as an accredited Civil and Commercial Mediator. My background and experience in family law means that I inevitably have a particular interest in family mediation, and so I also trained with ADRg in family mediation. I joined their teaching faculty in 2011 and have been delivering mediation training in both areas ever since.
ADR Group held its first ever Annual International Conference at the stunning Nikopolis Hotel in the beautiful and historic city of Thessaloniki on 14th June 2014. Mediation as a serious form of alternative dispute resolution was just forming its roots in Greece. The conference provided a forum to discuss the development and future of mediation in Greece.
The event was attended by representatives of the Greek Ministry of Justice, Bar associations, professional chambers, Chambers of Commerce, Accreditation Committees and Civil and Commercial Mediators. The energy and buzz surrounding the conference attracted media attention, and it was reported on the national news channel.
I was invited by ADRg to co-present to 200 delegates a workshop on family mediation. The aim of the workshop was to give an overview of family mediation and how it works in family disputes in practice.
The workshop considered what can be mediated, the skills required by a mediator, and the differences between family, civil and commercial mediation. It also explored two typical family-mediation scenarios, one relating to children and the other relating to financial matters arising from divorce.
In addition, sessions were delivered on workplace mediation and the development of mediation in the US.
The conference concluded with a keynote address delivered by Robert H Mnookin, the Samuel Williston Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, the Chair of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and the Director of the Harvard Negotiation Research Project. This leading scholar and author shared with us his wisdom and his experience in the field of conflict resolution.
The day ended with a drinks reception and a spectacular meal overlooking the hotel’s Olympic-size swimming pool.
If you would like more information or advice about mediation, please contact Tanya Jamal at:
01923 725 015