George and Hatty are in their 70’s + have been living at #6 in the Close for more than thirty years. Life has been good to them. They are popular in the community + are known to be generous when residents are asked to support local issues – parking, animal protection and neighbour’s family celebrations. Time has caught up with them – a little. George’s eyesight is failing as is his hearing. Despite earpiece devices, Hatty finds she has to talk loudly to gain his attention. George responds in a similar fashion.
Alvin and Tessa have recently moved into #8 next door with their two young children – two boys aged 6 + 8. Alvin is a self-employed builder, works hard, makes a good living and is proud of his achievements. Tessa has 4 siblings in a closely-knit family who regularly call round at the weekends. She loves her kitchen and is forever cooking for the extended family.
Things started well. Alvin and Tessa introduced themselves to next door and good neighbourly relations were established. Tessa has taken in cakes on a regular basis but recently things have become a little challenging. Both families have moaned. As George’s hearing fades, he has taken to speaking more loudly to get Hatty’s attention. She responds in a like manner. Raised voices from their house – not arguments as such – filter through to #8. At the same time, the two boys are football crazy and their footballs often end up in #6’s garden with two broken windows in recent weeks.
The Residents Association has invited you to mediate. The two neighbours have agreed to your appointment and you accept. Actually, this has become a talking point in the neighbourhood and there is community pressure on you to find a solution.
21 July 2021
Caucusing with the Neighbours