The Centre for Peaceful Solutions is spearheaded by Maria Arpa and David Ellis.

Maria is the founder and visionary of the charity and David provides a keen business eye to the organisation. Maria, knowing David as a corporate client, recruited David as one of the founding trustees. They are both mediators with a joint and individual casework history.

In October 2014 David and Maria married. They run the charity as a couple constantly striving to model the values they promote as a major part of being authentic in their work.

Their passion is passing the skills to people who can use them to reduce violence in their communities. They work in neighbourhoods, schools and prisons, inspiring others to nurture their inner mediator. They view the work of the charity as vocational so much so that, in 2010, when the charity had no funding and therefore no staff, no premises and no salary, they continued the work from their sitting room at home for a year.

It would not be uncommon to find Maria talking to a beneficiary late at night or for David to be acting as a go-between by Zoom whilst on holiday yet they are structured and reflective in their approach.

When Marshall Rosenberg, founder of Nonviolent Communication, said that we should only act if we can do it with the joy of a small child feeding a hungry duck, Maria was quick to see the merit in this approach to life.

Louisa met the Centre for Peaceful Solutions when she came to us with her then husband when she was going through a divorce of her own. Louisa is an experienced practitioner and facilitator. She is the co-coordinator and primary trainer for our work in schools, and is a key member of our prison project. She is also part of our training team, supporting our current trainees with their accreditation and practice and is a fully qualified Family Mediator.


DRM Faculty Member

Tom’s background was in Sales and Sport sectors before he met Maria and CPS after going through a traumatic experience in his life some time ago. Since then Tom has been through Dialogue Road Map training and had over 300 hours worth of live case work as a Facilitator and Mediator. Tom now works at The Centre of Peaceful Solutions and is Deputy Director and helps run the charity.


DRM Faculty Member

David made a radical life change 25 years ago from Managing Director of a three-generation family publishing business to becoming a mediator and conflict coach and is now a lead mediator and Director at Peaceful Solutions. David’s hands-on experience in business operations and administration contributes a wealth of knowledge to commercial and contract negotiations.

David Ellis


Paul met us at a Civil Mediation Council Conference where Maria was giving a Masterclass. At a time when the charity had lost its funding and was struggling to survive, Paul valiantly offered to become a trustee. Paul comes with serious regulatory experience as a chartered surveyor, mediator, arbitrator and charity professional.

Paul Rose


Noor is a trustee of the Charity and has worked with us in many different roles. A confident communicator and self-starter with more than 8 years experience in research, campaign and communication in multi-cultural settings.

Noor Akbar


Andrew, like Paul, came on board to strengthen our governance. He also brings serious professional skills and experience. Andrew is a barrister and an internationally acclaimed mediator, trainer and visiting lecturer. He is also the founder of the Standing Conference of Mediation Advocates (SCMA)

Andrew Goodman