Spring had well and truly arrived when members of the Fryern Ladies Probus Club gathered at The Roundabout Hotel, West Chiltington for their May meeting.
There was much talk about forthcoming holidays and future summer events.
Booking for the June Annual Lunch at West Chiltington Golf Club was brisk and guests would also be welcome to attend this popular event.
With new friendly and helpful bar staff and a new French chef, a most enjoyable lunch was served, after which President, Maureen Girard, introduced the speaker for the afternoon, Stella Turner of the West Sussex Mediation Service.
She explained that the registered charity was run by 60 mediators and four part-time paid staff. The service is funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner, Local Authority, Housing Associations, Town and Parish Councils, Charitable Trusts, private donations and fund raising. It is now in its 16th year of service to the community.
Mediation is a process that helps people to resolve disputes such as noisy neighbours, barking dogs, boundary arguments and other forms of anti- social behaviour.
Mediators help people to identify needs, clarify issues, explore solutions and negotiate agreement.
Stella illustrated a possible scenario by engaging four members in involving themselves in an imaginary situation of dispute between neighbours, which illustrated how initially small misunderstandings can develop into major disputes.
She then showed how such a dispute could be resolved by encouraging each party to talk about the disagreement and then arrange a joint meeting to facilitate a resolution between both sides.
The mediators must remain impartial and help both parties to work out a solution that is realistic, practical and workable.
Mediation can be a graceful and efficient way of seeing an end to a conflict and this is what the valuable service aims to achieve.
Stella was warmly thanked by Rachel Martin and the raffle was drawn.
Social Secretary, Liz Allen- Williams, outlined a number of forthcoming outings including a coffee morning in June, a trip to Buckingham Palace in August and a visit to Salisbury Christmas Markets in November.
A toast to the Queen and to Probus world- wide rounded off a sociable and illuminating afternoon.