Could mediation help you and your family?

20th January 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic is putting family relationships under increasing pressure, leaving young people at risk of homelessness. Our mediation lead, Angela, talks about Nightstop's mediation services and how they can help you.

Family breakdown is one of the main causes of youth homelessness. As part of our work to prevent homelessness, Nightstop deliver mediation services for young people and their families which help to address conflict which could lead to a young person feeling that they have to leave home.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created additional need for mediation services as lockdown is having a significant impact on young people and their relationships with their families and their peers. Anxiety, isolation, loneliness, boredom, uncertainty about the future, job losses, arguments, anger - these are just a few of the issues that they are having to deal with during this stressful and unusual time. Nightstop mediation lead, Angela (pictured below right with peer mediator, Charlotte), has been talking about the support we offer young people and their families.

"Communicate in a more positive way".

Angela, what kind of work have you been doing with families during the lockdown and what positive impact has it had?

Angela: "We have helped families during lockdown by offering mediation, conflict coaching and counselling sessions. Support focuses on conflict, communication, relationships, emotional wellbeing and coping strategies. We conduct these sessions digitally via Zoom, Whatsapp and telephone.

Families who are referred report high levels of tension and stress within the household. Young people accessing counselling report high levels of anxiety and low mood.

Increased stress manifests in negative coping strategies such as drugs, self-harm, physical or verbal aggression to name a few. We have been able to help young people remain at home and avoid being kicked out; encourage families to communicate in a more positive way, build resilience so that young people feel better about themselves and know how to cope, and help family members understand each other's point of view".

How is this current lockdown affecting families?

Angela: "The strain on families during this lockdown is high and with the long winter nights, bad weather preventing people getting out to exercise and cash-strapped families facing financial hardship post-Christmas, the situation is not set to get better anytime soon. COVID-19 is not going away and the anxiety and uncertainty that arises from a global pandemic means we are just beginning to see the tip of the iceberg".

What would you say to young people and their families considering accessing mediation?

Angela: "If you feel that your relationships at home are breaking down, please don't suffer in silence. Mediation is a safe space to talk about the issues that are affecting you and your family. A mediator is not there to pass judgement or blame or criticise in any way. We follow a process which gives you the space to tell us what the key issues are and find a way forward. The process is led by you and your needs. Turning up is probably the most difficult part. It's completely confidential and we don't take sides; it really is worth a try".

If you're interested in finding out more about our services and how they can support you and your family, call Nightstop on 01562 743111 or email us at