Police have donated almost £500 to a charity helping to resolve conflict between communities and families in Hastings and Rother.
The money came from the Police Property Act Fund (PPAF) – a pot of money made up from the sale of found property and from property confiscated by order of the court and then sold.
It was donated to the Hastings and Rother Mediation Service, which since it was formed in 1995 has helped people work through conflict. The service provides education and training in the skills people need to solve disputes and lead happier lives.
Many of the charity’s clients are vulnerable and need support to express their concerns and to be able to understand the views of others. Mediation helps overcome communication barriers and so helps families and neighbours build better relationships.
Nicola Hawkins, the charity’s manager, said: “We are very grateful to Sussex Police for the grant we have been awarded. The money will enable us to buy protective equipment to get our client meeting room in the office up and running and Covid safe.
“Our service has continued to offer mediation throughout the pandemic using videoconferencing instead of home visits, however some of our clients are unable to or don’t have the equipment to use apps such as Zoom. They also tell us that they much prefer face-to-face meetings and would feel disadvantaged or uncomfortable using video conferencing.
“With this donation, we will be able to buy a number of protective clear plastic screens to create booths for our clients and mediators along with face masks and hand gel. Being able to offer Covid safe, face-to-face meetings is so important in these uncertain and difficult times.”