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Amaze services during coronavirus/COVID-19

We are no longer updating this page. For up to date details of how our services are operating during coronavirus, please visit our Coronavirus Support from Amaze page

Amaze is doing all it can to keep services going in some form during coronavirus/COVID-19, but things may be a bit slower than usual. This is because both Amaze and PaCC employ a large number of parents and carers who are being affected by school closures, or by sickness and self-isolation. We are finding different ways to do things that would normally involve meeting you face to face individually or in groups.

The following explains how each of our services is operating during the lockdown.

SENDIASS Helpline (Brighton & Hove and East Sussex)

All our team are working from home and are still offering a full Helpline service. We continue to offer information, advice and support for parent carers and to young people with SEND. Please call us to talk about education, health and social care or anything else you may need. It’s important to stay connected so call us even if you just need to talk. And we are still able to offer some follow up casework support (by phone and email) for more complex issues. 

How to access/contact us: 

You can contact us by email sendiass@amazesussex.org.uk or phone 01273 772289. All calls go straight to voicemail at the moment, so please leave your contact details. We are currently replying to calls on the same day.

Looking Forward (Brighton & Hove and East Sussex)

The Looking Forward team are working from home, using Zoom and the telephone instead of meeting with young people at our Amaze offices.

We are still supporting young people to plan for the future by looking at their options in education, employment and training. By identifying a career aim, we can help young people to take the steps they need to achieve their goals. We can help if you are still looking for a place for September. Parent carers are welcome to join in our meetings as they can be so important to finding the right placement.

Looking Forward is open to all young people with SEND age 14-18. 19-25’s can access the service if they have an Education, Health and Care Plan.

How to access/contact us: 

Please email Amy Goble on amy@amazesussex.org.uk or phone Liam Ryan: 07483 111659

Face2Face befriending service

Brighton and Hove

We are no longer able to offer face-to-face visits from our befrienders but we continue to work to support families who have been referred to our service by telephone, text and emails. We are continuing to match new families to befrienders if they have had an initial home visit. If the home visit had not taken place before the lockdown then we have contacted these families to reassure them.

During the lockdown, our Brighton & Hove Face2Face groups have moved to meeting virtually. The Breakfast Club and the Autism group have met over Zoom and the Dads group plan to start meeting in this way in the next few weeks. If you would like to join one of these groups, please contact Louise at the address below for further details.

How to access/contact us: 

Please email Louise Howe, Face2Face project worker, on louise@amazesussex.org.uk

East Sussex

We are no longer able to offer face-to-face visits from our befrienders but we continue to work to support families who have been referred to our service by telephone, text and emails.

We are continuing to match new families to befrienders if they have had an initial home visit. If the home visit had not taken place before the lockdown then we have contacted these families to reassure them.

How to contact us:

Please email Debbie Collins, Face2Face manager on debbie@amazesussex.org.uk

Amazing Futures

Brighton & Hove

Our young people’s peer support groups are no longer meeting face to face, but we are still supporting young people remotely by Zoom, by telephone and by email.

Amazing Futures is holding small Zoom young people’s peer support groups regularly. Any young person already involved with Amazing Futures can be included in a Zoom group. Any young person who doesn’t want to be in a group, but would like to talk one to one, can call Sue on her work mobile: 07483 111648, or email sue@amazesussex.org.uk

How to access/contact us: 

Please contact Sue Winter on sue@amazesussex.org.uk  or call 07483 111648 (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays).

East Sussex

Our young people’s peer support groups are no longer meeting face to face, but holding small Zoom young people’s peer support groups regularly for any young person already involved with the project.

Young people can also be included in the WhatsApp chat group running within East Sussex.  Young people remain in contact with each other and post pictures of what they are up to.

Young people from the group are also actively contributing to the creation of the Amazine, a fortnightly e-zine which will be posted on our website, Facebook page and sent via email and text.

Any young person who doesn’t want to be in a Zoom or WhatsApp group, but would like to talk one to one, can contact Claire on the details below

How to access/contact us:

Email claire@amazesussex.org.uk or call/text 07484915038

Benefits work: DLA and PIP Service

We are working hard to maintain our offer of direct support to families to claim DLA and PIP.

Although we cannot meet families and young people face to face, we are able to contact you by phone or email. Conversations with you are likely to be shorter but more frequent as we gather all the information we need to make a strong claim. Let us know if English is not your first language, so we can think about who can best help us get started.

Wherever possible, we will offer you as much help as you need to draft typed notes that get tagged into the claim pack. Where this is not practical and you are not able to hand write the claim, we will try to do this for you.

We understand how hard it is to get extra copies of important information about your child or young person right now. If you live in Brighton & Hove, we have a protocol for safely picking up your supporting evidence and signed claim pack. We can also photocopy original documents, collate everything and post your claim by special delivery. Unfortunately, we do not have the reach to offer this copy and send service in East Sussex.

We understand that DWP is extending the length of all current DLA and PIP awards for 3 months. While this is helpful, that time will fly, so please get in touch with us as soon as possible, if a lot has changed since you last claimed and you need help with a review.

If a young person, aged at least 16 and getting DLA, has already been invited to claim PIP and you have a PIP claim pack, do ask for extra time, if you need it. Remember the bar is set higher for PIP than DLA, so it’s worth making sure you have all your evidence available before making the claim. DWP has suspended face to face assessments and is making decisions on papers.

If you have only recently had a letter inviting you to start a PIP and are ringing to start the claim, you may find it difficult to get through to speak to an advisor to do this. The message from DWP at present, is that they are suspending new PIP claims for young people getting DLA and for the time being, they will continue to make DLA payments until COVID 19 lockdown restrictions have eased.

How to access/contact us: 

You can contact us by email sendiass@amazesussex.org.uk or phone (01273 772289). All calls go straight to voicemail at the moment, so please leave your contact details. We are currently replying to calls on the same day.

Compass Card

The Compass Team is working from home, but still fully operational. We’re processing Compass Registration Forms and sending out new cards and encourage anyone who needs to renew their card or apply for the first time to get in touch. You can print out your own registration form on the Compass Card website, or email the team and we’ll get one in the post to you.

While many of our Compass Card Partner venues are closed, we’re inspiring Compass Card families, parent carers and young people with a series of three ‘Leisure, Learning and Lock-down‘ guides. And we’re posting ideas and information on leisure on the Amaze Compass Card Facebook page.

How to contact/access:

email compass@amazesussex.org.uk

website www.compasscard.org.uk

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AmazeCompassCard/

PaCC coffee mornings for parent carers (Brighton & Hove)

Our regular coffee mornings for parent carers in Moulsecoomb, Whitehawk and Hangleton & Knoll have stopped during Covid-19 but, mindful that many SEND families are experiencing a higher level of isolation and very challenging times, we have decided to diversify the way we keep in touch.

We are in the process of emailing/texting and/or calling all the families who are in the different coffee morning lists. Parent carers will be asked which method of keeping in touch they may prefer. It could be that a parent is happy to be contacted by email and text once a month, other maybe prefer a chat on the phone or even happy to participate in a small online group.

We will continue to be with you, listen to your worries and your daily stories. We will be able to refer you to Amaze SENDIASS or other services, if you need some specific advice and/or support.

We are also keen on recording any recurrent issue or problem so that the Parent Carers’ Council (PaCC) can represent you when attending meeting with Local Authority or other service providers.

How to contact/access:

Email Paolo at Paolo@paccbrighton.org.uk or call 07484051753

For further information, please see:

BRIGHTON & HOVE Coronavirus FAQs for parents of children and young people with SEND

EAST SUSSEX Coronavirus FAQs for parents of children and young people with SEND

Or see the Healthwatch information for your area:

Brighton & Hove: https://www.healthwatchbrightonandhove.co.uk/newsflash/coronavirus-update/

East Sussex: https://healthwatcheastsussex.co.uk/news/information-on-coronavirus/ 

West Sussex: https://www.healthwatchwestsussex.co.uk/coronavirus-advice-and-guidance 

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