Helping to speak with TCs
I was speaking with a caregiver this morning because someone had contacted me about her friend seeing someone trying to trap sterilised cats. I spoke with the friend and the cleaners in the area had come down with cages and gunny sacks and were seen trying to trap the sterilised cats. However when she left, she did not see them trap any cats. They told her there was a complaint about irresponsible feeding - this woman told them that they were going after the wrong party, ie the cats, when they should be trying to find (and fine) the feeders!
I called one of the caregivers and she said that she had trouble showing the TC had been trapping the sterilised cats. She said that they had denied it and anyway, she said there was nothing to stop them from trapping the cats when there was a complaint. I asked if she had seen the TC but she said her meeting with the MP had not been very fruitful. She said that there were a lot of people who were feeders but no one wanted to speak up on behalf of the cats. Moreover they didn't know what to say.
It would be good if Mediators could also step in at this point and be the point of contact between TC and the residents. This would allow the more uneducated caregivers to make their point and also keep otherwise responsible feeders with explosive tempers from dealing directly with the TCs. At the same time, they need to WANT to be involved, rather than just speaking about how upset they are. If they're not prepared to help out and solve problems in the area (for example, by changing a feeding spot, helping to look into a complaint) then it's going to be very difficult.
Of course being a resident, the TC would be willing to listen to the Mediator and the Mediator would also be part of the neighbourhood and aware of the situation.
We are of course happy to go down and meet with the caregivers and the TCs if the caregivers wish for us to be there, to share experiences that we have learnt in other TCs and suggestions on how the programme may need to be run in that estate. Of course every estate is different and the programme will be slightly different in every area.
Marilyn asked if it would be possible to have a Mediation workshop. We'd be happy to hold one if anyone is interested.