Sheffield youngsters learn peaceful ways forward

Children pictured taking part in 'Co-operative Games', one of the many workshops on offer for peer mediators from across Sheffield. Picture: Marie Caley NSST Cresst MC 5
Children pictured taking part in 'Co-operative Games', one of the many workshops on offer for peer mediators from across Sheffield. Picture: Marie Caley NSST Cresst MC 5
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Peaceful resolution was the aim of a special day conference that brought more than 100 young mediators together to meet up, share ideas and enjoy themselves.

Workshops organised by Sheffield University Students’ Union were planned to help the next generation learn how to resolve conflict peacefully and skilfully.

Ten year olds from primary schools across Sheffield took part in cooperative games, a conversation cafe, and did exploration work on the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates and the campaign for ‘A Billion Acts of Peace’ run by Peacejam and gender respect issues.

Their day concluded with entertainment from Maynard Flipflap, to thank the children for their voluntary efforts in resolving conflict.

CRESST is a local charity set up initially with the support of a Quaker legacy in 2004 and supported by many charity trusts. It has worked with 61 schools locally and regionally.

Pupils are taught how to run a mediation and to look for ‘win-win’ solutions to leave both parties happy and prevent the same dispute re-occurring.

It was the eleventh Annual Peer Mediators Conference that CRESST has run.

The number of children attending doubled with help from CRESST Trustees, the Sheffield Grammar School Exhibition Foundation and the Dundee Friends Property Trust.

Holly, from year six at Arbourthorne Primary said: “It’s made it a safer place and there aren’t so many arguments because if an argument starts its more likely to get sorted out quicker.

“We’ve got better lessons because the lessons aren’t taken up by teachers trying to sort out what happened at playtimes and dinnertimes”.