Farewell Alison

In this blog Mediation Plus wishes Alison Rouncivell a huge congratulations for her 20 years of service, and a happy retirement! An interview by Sarah McEvoy-Peall.

So, after 20 years of service, our Alison has decided to retire.  Nothing but the best—that’s what Alison always gave.

I was delighted that Alison was able to spare me some time to chat about her career highlights and some lowlights over the 20 years.  Here is what she had to say:

2003 – I was in my second year of college (Sussex Downs, Eastbourne now known as East Sussex College, Eastbourne) studying IT skills.   I was interviewed for the role of caseworker for Time to Talk (T2T) at Hastings and Rother Mediation Service alongside another candidate.  I did not get the job!  Oh well, I thought, never mind.

The successful candidate was brought in to launch T2T project.  After 4 months she left.

I was asked to join the team and was delighted to join on 1st April 2004 – I did warn them “I know nothing about T2T, except having my own children and working as classroom assistant for little ones.” The project was still in its infancy and the bones of the project were not there yet.

I had a broom cupboard for an office, it was small but cozy – seem to recall I didn’t have a printer, but I had a desk and a phone.  There were 3 other colleagues: Nicola, Sandra, and Jenny.

Our office was based in Priory Street opposite a multi-story car park – very glamorous!

2007 – Children’s Services recognised the value in mediation and how it is a preventative measure for homelessness and following discussions between Nicola and Children’s Services, the opportunity arose for a mediator to go to Children’s Services.  I offered and in June 2007 joined the Youth Support Team which is made up mainly of social workers.   

I felt a bit lost for a while however I found my way and stayed with Youth Support Team for almost 7 years.  It wasn’t always easy remaining independent and confidential whilst offering the nurturing element that the children needed.  It was a standing joke – no one knew I was there.  The calls would come in and ask for Alison…Alison who???

Anyway, 7 years later in 2014, Nicola asked if I would come back to work for the charity.  I welcomed this news with open arms – I felt that I had come back to the family!

Moving onto 2024 – where have the years gone.

What are some your proudest moments?

 “I am really proud of the T2T project and how it has evolved over the years.  Yes, it’s true I am protective over T2T.  But I am so pleased that I have handed the reigns to Suzanne and Emma – they are a safe pair of hands – they are a huge asset to Mediation Plus”.

 Another proud moment for me was in 2016 when Jane Robey former CEO National Family Mediation (who incidentally retired also 20 years from her post April 1st 2023 – do the dates and timings sound familiar???) asked for our contribution to government backed research about how mediation could be a prevention for youth homelessness for the organisation CenterPoint.  I volunteered and contributed.  It was published and presented at the House of Parliament where distinguished guests were invited to recognise the work.  My name was mentioned in the speeches.  Another proud moment for me.  

Read the full article at the end of this blog!

How many cases do you think you have managed over the years and any key highlights you would like to share?

“Probably around 300 cases.  I have found it has been the cases that didn’t go to plan that have and continue to shape the T2T project.   We learn from them.

It’s been fantastic working with mediators and the families, they continue to inspire me, and they are the reason I turned up every day!

Any final words?

“Yes, as an IG mediator my ‘What 3 Words’ (almost!) are:


Thank you, Alison, for your time.  It just leaves me to say on behalf of your work family – Congratulations on your retirement and enjoy the world of possibilities ahead of you! And thank you for making a difference.

Article publicised by Alison…

Thank you Alison!