We have a wealth of experience in mediation and were founded in 1983. We are a Norfolk charity and our trained family mediators are available across the county at offices in Great Yarmouth, King's Lynn, Norwich, Swaffham and Thetford.
All our qualified team of professional mediators are members of the Family Mediators Association or National Family Mediation and work to the agreed Code of Practice of the Family Mediation Council.
Mediators are specially trained in resolving emotive issues such as residence and contact with children. They are experienced in handling conflict and in protecting the interests of anyone who feels vulnerable or disadvantaged during divorce or separation discussions.
Mediators will also help you sort out the separation of your finances, whether you are married, living together or in a civil partnership.
Divorce and separation can involve a number of different issues and mediators' extensive training includes speaking with children, resolving financial matters (including pensions), understanding cultural differences and how the fear of domestic abuse can affect decisions.
We have three mediators working within our service, all of whom have experience of working with children and families undergoing the stress and trauma of divorce. Their professional backgrounds include law, social work, education, and probation work.
Meet the team
Lansley has both LSC and NFM accreditation and has worked as a mediator for NFMS for over ten years. Mediation and its power to untangle complicated personal issues has always been part of her work with families, previously as a qualified Social Worker and within the Probation service. She believes children thrive when they have a loving relationship with both parents and that mediation enables parents to make shared parenting arrangements that suit their unique circumstances. Qualified in all issues mediation. Lansley also works with people wanting to deal with property and financial issues in a non-adversarial setting.
Anita has a background in family law working in New Zealand for several years. On moving to England she investigated complaints against solicitors for the Law Society before training as a counsellor working with individuals and couples. Her interest in mediation developed from her seeking an effective means to assist separating couples to part with as little emotional turmoil as possible for themselves and their children. Anita started mediating in 2008 in All Issues cases.
Debbie has a background in family and criminal law, having been a founding partner in an award winning London based legal practice. Debbie has recently returned from working overseas for four years. On her return to the UK Debbie undertook family mediation training and is working towards accreditation. After two decades as a solicitor she is delighted to have joined the Norfolk Family Mediation Service recently and is committed to joining the excellent mediators, assisting separated families to reach satisfactory resolution through the mediation process.
Jayne Gilman, Office Manager
Jayne joined Norfolk Family Mediation in 2000 following two years studying computing at City College Norwich. She oversees the day to day running of the office and is supported by Administrator Karen and Volunteer Ursula. Jayne is a divorced mother of three grown- up children and has six grandchildren.
Gemma Walpole, Chief Executive
Gemma has a background in fundraising, most recently as Head of Fundraising at Norfolk based charity Redwings Horse Sanctuary. She knows from personal experience the impact that separation and divorce can have, especially on children, so she is keen to support others through this difficult time. Gemma and her husband also run a wedding business on their family farm, so she feels honoured to be able to help people celebrate the happy moments in life as well as supporting them through the struggles.
Thirty years' experience working with national organisations as a leader and senior manager. He has been chief executive of two national charities, on the board and chair of national and local charities, leader of a London borough and represented local government across London. Currently he is director of two pioneering social enterprises and chair/trustee of several housing, care, health and older people's organisations.
Norfolk born Jane is an experienced solicitor who has worked as a family lawyer at Cozens-Hardy LLP in Norwich for almost thirty years. She is a strong advocate of mediation and is also a trained collaborative lawyer, encouraging clients to reach an early agreement together to lessen the impact of the breakdown of the relationship on the family.
Most of Lesley's working life was spent in local government where she held various posts including residential social worker, under-fives officer, head of early years, assistant director of education and finally assistant director of children's services. She retired from local government in October 2013 in order to spend more time with her grandchildren who live locally and to pursue my own personal interests. Lesley is delighted to be a trustee for the Norfolk Family Mediation Service. She has significant work experience and some personal experience of the effect of family breakdown on children and young people and hopes to use that experience to contribute to the ongoing development of the service.
Andrew went to Earlham High School in Norwich and after graduating from the University of Aberdeen he trained as a news journalist with the Eastern Daily Press. Andrew went on to work in media relations for Aviva and Virgin Money before spending 14 years working in the NHS. He is Head of Corporate Communications at the University of East Anglia and is a Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Accredited Practitioner. Happily married and a father of three, Andrew has, in the past, had personal experience of a difficult relationship breakdown and is committed to helping families and children access mediation.