Dennis Austin

Lambeth Mediation Service volunteers

Dennis Austin



Dennis joined LMS in 2015 and is focused on community facilitated mediation.

“I started volunteering in Mediation in 2000 with Lewisham Action on Mediation Project. I am from the inner-city and can relate to the issues that are going on. I wanted give back to the community and help those in the community who need help to solve problems that were affecting their everyday lives, but who did not want to get involved with legal remedies.

I started with Lambeth Mediation Service in May 2015. I love the positive approach Lambeth Mediation Service takes to mediation, and the continuous support and training that is on offer.

I continue to volunteer because I enjoy it, and I am continually encouraged by the feedback we get from our clients in the community. Throughout my time as a volunteer mediator I have been privileged to be part of a system which seeks to bring people together under some of the most heated, and trying circumstances.

I feel that mediation is of great benefit to our community; this I wholeheartedly put down to accessibility. Most Mediators, from my experience, have come from all types of different backgrounds, and have gone through most of the issues that we have to face in the majority of the cases we take.

The appeal of Community Mediation stems, I think, from the fact that our parties can be confident that we don’t see their issues as commonplace, and to be expected living in a densely populated community, but as a great opportunity to bring disputing parties together and initiate lasting solutions.

The benefits of mediating if you are involved in a dispute, is first, from the point of view of the parties, the informality of the surroundings. At a mediation, the parties are not treated like perpetrators, or victims, we as mediators do not point fingers or side with any particular person, we treat all parties with respect. Yes, we do have ground rules, but these are for the purpose of allowing the session to run smoothly, as opposed to giving the mediators some kind of upper hand. A further benefit to the parties is the fact that we will have been in contact (by means of home visits) before the issue has reached mediation. This is important because its shows the client that we are serious about getting to the root of their troubling issues.”

Find out more about volunteering.