Our approach

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 in how 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.
  • Supportive – We support everybody we can; making the best of our resources, developing peer support and being more hands-on for those who need it most.
  • Together – The needs of disabled children, 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.
  • Empowering – We empower disabled children and young people and their parent carers by building their confidence, knowledge, skills and resilience.
  • Non-judgemental – We listen and offer advice without criticism, prejudice or judgement.

How we put our values into practice

Being inclusive

To ensure we provide an inclusive service for all our families, we have an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion working group and action plan. Read more about our recent work around Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. 

Being disability positive

We work with and for disabled children and young people.  

Our approach is rooted in the social model of disability. This is a way of viewing the world, developed by disabled people, that says that people are disabled by barriers in society, not by their impairment or difference. We aim to promote a positive view of disabled people’s lives whilst supporting them to overcome the challenges and obstacles they face. 

This approach informs our recruitment, our language and our services. 

Being carer aware

We work with and for parents and carers of disabled children and young people. 

We shape our services according to the needs of parent carers, listening to their concerns and experiences and helping them to understand their rights. Read our Carers Policy (pdf 200kb) .

We positively recruit parent carers as staff and volunteers. 


Our services and support are designed and developed together with parent carers and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). We work closely with the local parent carer forums and our youth voice team to do this. We also draw on the experience of our staff team, many of whom are disabled or parent carers themselves, and the feedback we get from our users. 

If you want to share your views about any of our services, use our feedback form.

Impartiality and independence

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. 

This is important to us as we always want to be independent and impartial in the information we provide. See our Impartiality policy . 

Sometimes, we work in quite a light-touch way; at others, we may be much more hands-on, and we have to decide what to offer each person. We try to do this in a fair way, and you can read about it in our Amaze Level of Service Policy (pdf 120kb)

Social value and sustainability

Amaze is a small, local charity with an excellent reputation, and established contacts with families of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and partners working on the ground in Brighton & Hove and East Sussex. 

We use our strength as an organisation to contribute to the local economy and civil society and reduce our environmental impact. This is referred to as social valueand represents a way of thinking about how scarce resources are allocated and used.  

Since the Social Value Act 2012, public bodies are required to look beyond the price of each individual contract or the cost of running a service, to consider the collective social, economic and environmental benefit to a community when that service is provided. Thinking about social value prioritises the overall benefit of outcomes above a narrow focus on bottom line costs. The greatest long-term cost savings are to be found in supporting citizens to be independent, productive and socially mobile, leading meaningful lives. 

Amaze welcomes this way of thinking as it means we are measured on outcomes that we are committed to and that our trustees, staff and volunteers care about passionately.  Some of our current social value commitments include: 


  • Supporting parent carers and people with disabilities in/back to work by providing flexible volunteering and employment opportunities compatible with caring responsibilities, taking positive action in our recruitment practices, providing reasonable adjustments and supporting staff/volunteers to gain professional qualifications. 
  • Working towards relevant benchmarks (such as Disability and Carer Confident) to ensure we provide an accessible and healthy workplace for carers and people with disabilities. 
  • Supporting young people with SEND into work by providing specialist careers advice and guidance alongside volunteering and internship opportunities. 
  • Paying all staff at least the living wage and maintaining salary scales that are linked with local government schemes, which means cost of living increases are maintained (funding permitted). 
  • Supporting the Brighton & Hove and East Sussex economies by buying local, choosing suppliers close to the point of service delivery and maintaining ethical standards both in the purchasing and delivery of services. 


  • Supporting the health, wellbeing, social inclusion and resilience of parent carers and young people with SEND through a range of services including health campaigns, early intervention/prevention work, disability benefits support, young person and parent carer social groups, physical activity and mental and emotional wellbeing initiatives 
  • Contributing to the inclusion agendas in East Sussex and Brighton & Hove, ensuring children and young people with SEND and parent carers are involved in shaping local services and helping us and other organisations to reduce barriers to accessing services for less well served communities 
  • Building the capacity of smaller voluntary and community groups through partnership working and financial support, and enhancing their SEND offer to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND and their families. 


  • Reducing our impact on the environment in line with our Environmental/ Sustainability Policy, with identified tasks listed in our Environmental Action Plan such as: reducing our use of paper and printing; using second hand, or donated, equipment and other supplies, or purchasing these locally wherever possible to reduce transportation miles; donating unwanted office furniture or equipment to reduce the amount of landfill waste; only buying recycled stationary that uses bio-degradable packaging; ensuring our printer cartridges are recycled, or refilled if possible. 
  • Being ‘Green Small Business Certified,’ recognising our efforts and commitment to improving our environmental impact and achieving net zero by 2050. 
  • Working with our landlords in Brighton & Hove and Eastbourne to ensure they: select energy providers who use more sustainable energy sources; improve the insulation of our office buildings; introduce LED lighting; re-introduce food waste collection bins; insist the cleaning company switch to eco cleaning products.