Having undertaken training with the Family Mediation Association (FMA) in 2010, Nicola Crowther subsequently became a FMA member. FMA is recognised as one of the leading member organisations for family mediation and is governed by the Family Mediation Council (FMC).
In 2017 Nicola was elected by the FMA membership to sit on the board of directors. The board of twelve directors meet every other month in Manchester to discuss the issues faced by members and make decisions that shape the future of mediation.
The board is made up of twelve directors form around the country who bring a vast wealth of knowledge and experience to the table.
Recent years have seen a great deal of changes for family mediation and there are no signs of slowing down. The board aims to develop strategies to help FMA members navigate changes in legislation and practice.
The board is responsible for providing mediation training courses, ethics and standards, complaints, supervision, marketing an promotion of mediation generally – including Mediation Awareness Week in January. The board also liaises directly with the Ministry of Justice to discuss the role of mediation within the family judicial system and plays and essential and intrinsic role in developing the current MIAMs system we have in place today. The board also meets with the LAA (Legal Aid Agency) to campaign for better legal aid rates for mediators and better access to justice for all.
The board reports to it’s members at the AGM, held during the annual FMA conference. It is important for all FMA members to know that board members are unpaid and as such they give up an enormous amount of their time and resources to campaign tirelessly on behalf of FMA members.
Nicola has found her time on the board to be rewarding and inspirational. She says “It’s a pleasure to come together with like minded individuals for a common goal. Helping to shape the future of family mediation in the UK feels like a really worthwhile use of what spare time I have.”
Nicola is the only board member, living and practicing North of Leeds. She says “There are some excellent mediators in the North East and Cumbria and I feel it’s important for them to have a voice on the board.”
Crowther Mediation recently played host to the FMA road show in Sunderland. Having travelled all over the UK to meet with mediators for tea and cake and hear their views, the Chair Philippa Johnson and Vice Chair Beverley Sayers, confirmed the biggest turn out had been in the North East. Nicola says “What can we say? Northern mediators love cake!”