Rebuilding Communities

This film may now be over a year old, but the issues Maria talks about are more relevant today than ever.In the wake of the recent riots and the squeeze of the spending cuts it is becoming vital that local communities find ways to collaborate and share across cultures and poverty divides. There are some very good examples of Resident’s Associations, Transition Towns and Happiness Groups where people are rolling their sleeves us and making things happen. Maria is concerned that people who see themselves as different or marginalised will regress further if we don’t take active steps to include them in our activities. To do this requires a different attitude to conflict and difference. The riots have demonstrated very clearly that people have a point at which they will no longer tolerate suppression. Whilst Maria accepts that some of the rioters where people who jumped on a band wagon for personal gain, we should not let this cloud the fact that there are underlying tensions and conflicts that have not been aired and resolved.

We welcome your thoughts on the subject.


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

In these films Maria is addressing an audience at the Northern Lights conference at Findhorn. The conference is aimed at schools and educators and is interested in creating better learning communities. Maria speaks about her experiences of delivering projects in schools and how she developed a model for student voice which helps young people become part of decision making processes.

Maria Arpa on Behaviour

Part 1

Part 2

In these films Maria discusses behaviour and punishment and how the current systems are not providing the solutions we seek.

It would be really helpful to see your comments on how you understand what Maria is saying and what other questions it raises for you.



Maria Arpa on Conflict

Part 1

Part 2

In these films Maria is explaining how we have missed the opportunity to see conflict as an opportunity for change and how the systems we use in mainstream society perpetuate our fear of conflict.

Tackling Violent Crime

Tackling Violent Crime Through Mediation Training. In this film training participants explain how the training has helped them.

Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour

Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour Through Mediation and Communication Training. In this film training participants, who are all residents in social housing, explain how mediation and nonviolent communication can help with Anti-Social Behaviour on their estates.

About us

The Centre for Peaceful Solutions is a registered charity committed to changing attitudes to conflict and resolving disputes peacefully.
The Centre for Peaceful Solutions is a Professional Mediation Provider in the following practice areas:
  • Family Mediation
  • Workplace and Employment
  • Civil and Commercial
  • Community and Neighbours
  • Restorative Justice
The fees we earn support the work of the charity.

A world that can live in harmony with its values without the use of physical or emotional violence

To contribute to the development of a peaceful communities, workplaces, families, businesses and organisations

To contribute to developing a mediation mindset in society

To focus on introducing non-violence and conflict resolution to all parties living and working in marginalised, ‘hard to reach’ and disempowered communities.

To teach non-violence and conflict resolution as a proportionate and safer response to disagreement and disputes among people who feel excluded, unheard or frustrated.

To transform communities into a collaborative model of problem solving

To allow access to mediation and mediation training to people who would not normally know of or be able to afford it

To practice civil, employment and family mediation to the highest professional standards which sets the bar

To innovate and push back the boundaries of conflict resolution practice

Basic principles

Building trust
If you don’t care what happens to any person you are in conflict with
or you want them to be hurt, damaged or destroyed, how can they trust you?

Finding the alternatives
Can they intelligently do anything but defend themselves against you, even if it means perpetuating the conflict?

Transforming outcomes
Finding peace does not mean being in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means being in the middle of all those things and remaining calm inside

Who we are

Maria Arpa pic
Maria Arpa. Founding Chair and Chief Executive Maria is a highly skilled conflict practitioner
and trainer,former Chair of Mediation UK and founder
of the Centre for Peaceful Solutions. Maria has
an MSc in Mediation and Conflict Resolution

Maria’s experience ranges from working with multi-national corporates
to residents on violent inner city estates as well as with local authorities, schools, families and workplaces.

Maria has made interpersonal communication skills a lifetime project. Alongside a 20-year career in marketing and advertising, she successfully developed her talent for engaging people in healthy conversations through her experiences as a Samaritan volunteer, a qualified counsellor, a Reiki Master and a community mediator. Maria has also spent time at the sharp end running her own business for 15 years and working as a stand-up comic for 5 years before becoming the chief executive of a community mediation service. She considers her most important communications role to be that of a mother to 2 young adults.

Her diverse insights into how we communicate have culminated in a unique perspective on the benefits of working through differences and interacting peacefully with people.

Maria’s vision is the creation of a global network of individuals and corporations who wish to contribute to a common aim of harmony by removing violence from communication and choosing compassionate dialogue as a means to effective communities.

David Ellis
David Ellis. Mediator and Mediation Co-ordinator

David is an experienced mediator and facilitator. Originallyfrom a commercial leadership background, David has mediatedwith individuals and teams in diverse settings and co-mediateswith Maria on
a regular basis.

Our team is a trusted network of experienced practitioners
ranging from ‘legal mediators’ to ‘street mediators’. We provide a tailor
made resource for your particular requirement. Led and managed
by Maria and David, we work with you to establish your needs and
develop service or training strategies to fulfil your brief.

Contact us

CMS registered logo 

Registered Charity No 1117611

Contact us by email or by phone 020 8962 9420


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