Young Talk is a pilot project developed by Scottish Mediation to support and empower young people in Scotland to deal positively with conflict in a variety of settings, and to develop important life and social skills, through peer mediation. Membership to Young Talk is free and comes with a variety of membership benefits – we want to be as accessible and useful to those practising peer mediation, or those interested in peer mediation, as possible.
Over recent years a number of schools and organisations across Scotland have introduced peer mediation programmes, however at present there is no mechanism for sharing good practice or for young people to continue their learning and development in mediation. Like any skill, mediation needs to be practised and developed – and in the case of peer mediation it needs to be done in a way that meets young people’s needs and abilities. Young Talk sets out to fill the gap in existing learning, training, and CPD provision for peer mediators, and to allow young people to develop their conflict resolution and communication skills through meeting and connecting with other peer mediators from across Scotland.
Young start was developed by Scottish Mediation, was launched in June 2015 and was funded for an initial 2 years by Young Start (The Big Lottery). We successfully achieved a further two years funding from Young Start which employed a Peer Mediation Network Coordinator by Scottish Mediation to support all aspects of the project and its development.
The target areas for the period 2017-19 was West Lothian and Greater Dundee schools. Pupils attended a 2 day peer mediation training programme in 30 schools in these areas and to 407 pupils, leading to an expanding network of children and young people with additional life skills in relation to dealing with conflict.
Adult Training 4 Trainers Course
In addition we thought it would be valuable to provide training for adults working with young people as this would help to ensure the sustainability of peer mediation in schools and helps to support the small teams of peer mediators in each school. An additional benefit was to cascade the approach in different areas of Scotland and beyond and add to the existing network of peer mediation. The course has been attended by adults from well flung shores of the Shetland Isles in the north to the Channel Islands in the south.
You are welcome to join the peer mediation network. In this current period of funding we will continue to aim for the long term sustainability of Young Talk as the peer mediation network across Scotland.
If your school/organisation has had peer mediation training and you are not part of Young Talk– please get in touch with the coordinator, Sarah Welsh at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition to training, support is offered if you already have been trained or thinking about developing a programme in your school or organisation.
- Supports the use of mediation by children and young people in schools, organisations and other relevant settings
- Provides development opportunities in conflict resolution skills for young people practising peer mediation
- Provides opportunities and forums for young people and others involved in peer mediation to meet, connect and share ideas
- Supports the establishment and maintenance of sustainable peer mediation services, as well as development of best practice, in schools and organisations.
- Promotes and supports research on peer mediation, as well as recognition and validation of the benefits of peer mediation practices