Mental Health and Mediation – an introduction to different types of mental health issues, its impact on clients and the mediation, how to provide support
Claire has worked in family law since 1990, She co-founded Mediation Now with Rebecca Hawkins in 2007 and between 2007 and 2010 Claire combined her mediation and legal practice. In 2010 she stepped down as a Director of her legal practice to focus on mediation, working as a Consultant until 2015 when she left to concentrate solely on mediation and reducing parental conflict for children.
Mediation Now offers legally aided and privately funded mediation.
In 2013 with Helen Savage, Claire and Rebecca developed a communications programme, Changing Lives, which secured funding from the DWP Innovation Fund. This aimed to help separated parents work together for the benefit of their children. It was expanded further in 2019, becoming ‘New Foundations’ and again Mediation Now was awarded funding by the DWP through the Reducing Parental Conflict Programme. The course involved children, who were able to share their wishes, feelings, hopes and expectations which enabled parents to think differently about their co-operative parenting strategy, and reduce their conflict. The external evaluation of the programme showed significant improvement in the 50 families reached. That programme continues to run, on a private fee basis.
Claire is also a Collaborative Lawyer (Resolution trained).
A specialist in Child Inclusive Mediation (CIM), Claire is also trained as Civil Mediator through ADRg and offers hybrid and co-mediation. She is a qualified Arbitrator in children and finances cases.
Claire qualified as a Parenting Coordinator in 2019. She is a mentor to other mediators as their PPC and is 1-2-1 peer mentor for Resolution.
Claire sits as the mediator member of the Family Justice Council and is a member of the Local Family Justice Board. Claire also sits on the Family Mediation Council’s training panel. In relation to Child Protection Mediation, Claire is working closely with two Local Authorities and What Works for Children in Social Care to pilot when and how mediation works best for families within the Public Law system.
Claire is also a Family Law Supervisor.
Formerly a family solicitor in London and Hampshire, Helen has focussed on family
mediation since 2010. On behalf of Mediation Now, Helen developed the Changing Lives
Now and New Foundations programmes, both of which support separated parents in
reducing conflict and improving communication. In 2015 Portsmouth County Court
estimated that Changing Lives had saved 1 month of family court time over a 12 month
Helen is also the CEO of Southampton Family Trust, a charity which assists disadvantaged
families where a child is at risk of harm. On behalf of SFT, Helen delivers parenting
programmes such as Incredible Years, Strengthening Families and Building Respectful
She also supports parents in reducing levels of conflict in the home.
Helen provides training for schools and Southampton City Council on developing a trauma
informed practice. She trains facilitators to deliver Prepare Enrich (a relationship education programme) and delivers relationship enrichment to groups.
Helen co–designed the FAB (Feelings Affect Behaviour) for mums who have been victims of domestic abuse and Make the Most of your Relationships for mums with post–natal