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.
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.
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
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.
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.
We recently asked what makes Amaze so successful and so unique. Thankfully many people said it was because our staff and volunteers have their own lived experience of having a disability or a child with a disability, and that we offer both professionalism and compassion, and are respected by parents and professionals alike.
Our values will underpin all our work. These are:
- We will listen and be responsive to the needs of families
- We will provide families and young people with a voice, both in their individual casework and at a strategic level, influencing decision makers by sharing our learning about what families need
- We will remain independent from statutory agencies and provide impartial information, advice and support
- Parent carers and young people with SEND themselves are the experts and our services should be ‘person-centred’ and ‘co-produced’ by them
- We empower parent carers and young people by building their confidence, knowledge, skills and resilience
- Amaze services will be of a high quality, provided by experienced and knowledgeable staff, who are approachable and trustworthy
- As demand for our services remains incredibly high, we will prioritise our services to support the most vulnerable, and support others to be more self-servicing
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.
Take a look at Amaze’s current staff structure.