Hello everyone – I hope you have been keeping well during the Covid 19 lockdown?
People are simply amazing, aren’t they – despite these challenging times, it has been inspiring to find so much positivity and kindness in my dealings with others.
There are, however, real day-to-day concerns and challenges facing many in our communities, and how best to address them is often a further challenge. In encouraging those that need it to take steps to try and improve their circumstances, I am reminded of this quote, which has inspired me over the years:
As a Trustee of Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire and an accredited Family Mediator, I am aware of several recurring issues that have been heightened during the lockdown, including:
- The stress of meeting necessary outgoings and servicing existing debts can be overwhelming if income is reduced or ceases. It is important to avoid the accrual of debts and to arrange an effective strategy of dealing with them. Citizens Advice can often assist, for example by assessing entitlement to Welfare Benefits to maximize income and advising upon debt management/housing issues etc. Each Citizens Advice operates as a separate entity, and the local one should be contacted in order to seek assistance. During lockdown, telephone and website enquiries are likely to still be available.
- Other community groups may be available and can be identified online. The local authority can sometimes assist with contact details for local groups and organisations that are still operating during lockdown.
- There are also debt advisory organisations, and the government provides a free debt advisory service.
Links to Newark & District Council Website, Citizens Advice and the government national debtline which might be useful:
- The stress and emotional impact of the breakdown of a relationship can be heightened during the lockdown. If separating couples cannot agree arrangements for the care of their child / children, or how to share their assets to settle financial and property issues, and would like to negotiate an agreement, they can attempt Family Mediation (FM).
- FM is a voluntary form of dispute resolution. It is not necessary to arrange it through solicitors, and the chosen Mediation service can be contacted direct. Legal Aid is available for those eligible, and a Mediator offering Legal Aid should be contacted. Not all cases are suitable for Mediation and the Mediator will discuss this at the first meeting. Mediators cannot provide legal advice and a solicitor should be consulted if required.
- Many Family Mediation services are offering Mediation via video link during lockdown (Skype / Zoom etc.) It is important to use an accredited Family Mediator.
Link to the Family Mediation Council website, for further information and details of local Family Mediators:
If you would like to have a chat about the issues raised above, please let me know via email and I will arrange a time to speak to you.