West Yorkshire Family Mediation Service (WYFMS) has been serving our community since 1996. The charity was formed by the amalgamation of a number of mediation services formerly operating independently in Leeds, Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield. This merger was formalised when West Yorkshire Family Mediation Council (the governing body which trades as West Yorkshire Family Mediation Service) was registered as a Charity and a Company Limited by Guarantee in January 1996 (our Registered Charity Number is 1057519).
Where do we work?
We cover the whole county of West Yorkshire, operating from two mediation centres, one in Leeds and the other in Bradford. Our main office for administration is located in Bradford.
We fully recognise the emotional, mental and financial strain that is imposed on people when their relationships break down. In view of this, our mission is quite straight forward.
We are to provide a service that helps parents and couples whose relationships are ending or have already ended, to dissolve those relationships in a way that causes least distress to themselves and to their children, both emotionally and financially.
Why is this our mission?
The founders of WYFMS held a firm belief in mediation being the most positive and constructive way to resolve conflict within families. Furthermore, they believed mediation was a way to help resolve disputes whilst introducing users to the potential of solving other life problems through discussion and agreement rather than through argument.
Their main concern was for the welfare and well-being of children swept up in the emotional confusion of divorce and family separation. It is the charity’s intention to do this, by delivering:
- A ‘local’, independent conciliation service to all separating and divorcing couples
- Quality services at an affordable but realistic cost
- A consistent, co-ordinated service
WYFMS will also:
- Extend and develop our services provided in order to meet our client needs
- Raise the profile of the charity and family mediation as a whole
Our aim is to provide an affordable option, an option with added value – giving responsibility back to parents, giving parents the tools to take responsibility for decision-making about their futures and the futures of their children, giving couples the tools and knowledge to negotiate financial agreements in line with divorce law.
The charity’s core values are:
- To deliver a professional service which is beneficial to clients at the time of delivery and provides self-knowledge and skills for dealing with conflict in the future
- To deliver a service which is accessible to all
- To promote the use of mediated settlement in situations of conflict
By working to our core values, we will ensure that clients will:
- Gain the tools to work through issues themselves
- Gain the confidence to take responsibility for decision making
- Achieve a way to reach the best outcome for everyone from what can seem to be an unsolvable problem
- Receive a cost-effective alternative to litigation
- Benefit from the support of a professional and experienced mediator
WYFMS holds a Legal Aid Agency contract which permits us to offer our services free of charge to those financially most in need. We will endeavour to work with our clients as closely as possible to ensure that they receive such funding if they are eligible.
For those not eligible for legal aid, we are a non-profit organisation which allows us to reduce the cost of mediation as much as possible. We are not here to make money, we are here to provide a much needed service. We must, however, charge for some of our services in order to remain solvent. Full details of our fees for those that do not qualify for legal aid are here.