Image: Dorcas Crawford at today’s event in the Mac, Belfast
Charities and social enterprises could make much needed financial savings by engaging in mediation instead of costly legal action – that was the message today as Belfast based law-firm Edwards & Co launched ‘The Better Way’, a dedicated mediation service for third sector organisations in Northern Ireland.
The Better Way aims to revolutionise how charities and social enterprises prevent and solve conflict within their organisations.
The mediation service aims to prevent, diagnose and resolve disputes at both board and staff level. The complex nature of third sector organisations – including funding models, a combination of professional staff and volunteers and their increasing role as service providers – all mean that conflicts and disputes are more likely to emerge in the future. While mediation has been widely used in the private sector for many years, its use in third sector organisations has been limited until now.
Speaking at the event, Edwards & Co Senior Partner Dorcas Crawford said: “The Better Way is a unique mediation model designed to help third sector organisations avoid the costly legal bills associated with dispute litigation. Prevention is better than cure and a key aspect of The Better Way is the provision of training to spot signs of an emerging dispute, measure the potential impact and undertake early intervention to stop the problem growing.”
The launch took place at Belfast’s MAC with BBC Panorama presenter Declan Lawn and actor Michael Condron.