what is amaze?

Amaze is a charity for families with disabled children and young people in Sussex

Amaze is an independent charity whose work with parent carers and young people is funded from a variety of sources: local authorities, central government, health services, trusts and foundations, businesses, public donations and from fundraising events such as the Brighton Marathon and our annual Big Cheer comedy night.amaze-image3

We provide a range of different information, advice and support services to parent carers and also direct to children and young people with SEND, depending on where you live in Sussex. Find out more about who can use Amaze’s services.

Our history

Amaze was launched in October 1997. Amaze brought together two existing local projects – the Network of Parents, which was started by a parent in 1992 and focused on social care and health matters, and the Parent Link Project, which started in 1994 and set about building parent partnerships with schools and the Local Education Authority. By merging these organisations, both originally projects of the Brighton & Hove Council for Voluntary Service, Amaze became a ‘one stop shop’ for Brighton and Hove families, spanning all issues concerned with children’s educational, social and emotional development. It registered as a charity and company limited by guarantee in December 1999.

Our charity’s foundations are formed from parent carers coming together to identify that they needed more information, advice and support in caring for their child with disabilities and then working together to develop and deliver this.

Since the Children and Families Act, 2014, Amaze has extended some of the services it provides to families living in East and West Sussex and also directly to young people with SEND themselves

Our vision

A world where families with children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities are valued, included in their community and supported to thrive.

Our mission

Parent carers, children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities are informed and supported to build their resilience, achieve positive outcomes and ensure their voices are heard.

Our values

Listening is at the heart of all we do – on our advice line, in our benefits advice and peer support work, and also in the way we plan and develop our services according to what families tell us they need. The word itself captures our values perfectly.

Local and Living it 
We are local people who know our area and understand how to support families in our area. Many of our staff, volunteers and trustees are carers or are disabled. 
Independent and impartial 
We are an independent charity and any information or advice we provide about services is impartial.
We support everybody we can; making the best of our resources, developing peer support and being more hands-on for those that need it most. 
The needs of disabled children and young people and their families are at the heart of all that we do. We work together with families and SEND professionals, to plan, develop and improve services.  
We empower disabled children and young people and their parent carers by building their confidence, knowledge, skills and resilience. 
We listen and offer advice without criticism, prejudice or judgement.  

To ensure we are providing an inclusive service for all our families, we’ve also set up an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion working group. As a starting point, we have published a set of commitments to our staff, volunteers, and service users: Amaze’s commitment to tackling racism.

You can find out more about our recent work in our latest Amaze Impact Report 2023 and more about our key objectives in our Amaze Strategic Plan 2021-2025.

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