Without the support, expertise and enthusiasm of our volunteers, Amaze would not be able to offer the level of support we do to families across Sussex.
You can volunteer for Amaze in a number of ways: either working directly with parents or young people, representing the voice of the SEND community, helping to keep the organisation running smoothly or lending your hand at some of our events. However you choose to volunteer, you will get appropriate training and support for your role and Amaze will pay expenses such as travel costs.
Have a look at the different ways you can volunteer with Amaze. And then read about what to do next if you are interested.
DLA Volunteers help with Disability Living Allowance and PIP claims. DLA and PIP forms are long and complex. Filling them in can be hard and emotionally draining but getting these benefits makes a big difference to family incomes and is a passport to other benefits. As a DLA volunteer you work directly with a parent and if it is a PIP claim with the young person too. This role is very rewarding. You will see the difference you make. It involves quite long visits to work through a claim but each bit of work is completed quickly, so this role can suit people whose availability varies. We run the training about twice each year. Find out more about getting help with DLA and PIP here.
Information Advice and Support Volunteers
IAS Volunteers have a varied role giving information, advice and support. Some IAS Volunteers support our SENDIASS Helpline. This will suit you if you want to commit to a fixed day and time each week. You will work alongside a helpline advisor to help us respond more quickly to messages and callers. Other IAS volunteers give one to one help to parents (and sometimes to young people) as they try to sort out services and support. Often this will be attending a meeting with them to help them get their views across more confidently. Or visiting them to help them understand letters and reports or write their views down clearly. This is a role for people who are quite flexible in their availability and are not put off by a bit of complex information.
If this all sounds rather ‘expert’ we promise the training will equip you with the knowledge you need. We run the IAS training once a year but Helpline volunteers can start at other times as the training is more individual. Find out more about SENDIASS.
Peer supporters are young people age 18 to 28 with and without disabilities themselves who offer peer support to young people with SEND age 14 to 25. Some of our peer supporters help run peer support activity sessions. These are fun and aim to help young people build social skills, learn things and share ideas. Some peer supporters also meet one to one with a young person. All peer supporters get training and support. It is fun but great experience and is a chance to be a role model to others. We run the Peer Support training about twice a year. Find out more about volunteering with Amazing Futures as a peer supporter.
Amaze Face 2 Face Befrienders
Face 2 Face befrienders are parents who are a bit further down the road as a parent carer themselves and use this experience to get alongside parents who are newer to the world of SEND, for example soon after finding out that their child has extra needs. Some Befrienders help run our Face 2 Face groups and most also do one to one befriending. This is a role doesn’t have to involve a big time commitment but is only for people who feel comfortable giving emotional support. It is especially rewarding and you can step back from it if you hit a tough patch with your own child. Befrienders get initial training and ongoing support. We run the befriender training once or twice a year. Find out more about Face 2 Face.
Parent Carer Forums
Parent carer forums or councils bring parents together to have a voice in their area and nationally, influencing policy and services that affect families of children with SEND. Parents can get involved with the forum in their area of Sussex. Amaze hosts the Brighton and Hove Parent Carers’ Council (PaCC) and the East Sussex Parent Cares Forum (ESPCF) to support their infrastructure but they work independently from Amaze. As a member you can take part in consultations and events, feed in your views or become more involved as a parent rep or steering group member. Find out more about how this works and how you could join PaCC or ESPCF.
In West Sussex, you can join WSPCF.
Young People’s Advisory Group
Young people with SEND can help shape what Amaze does for young people and influence other services for young people with SEND by joining our advisory group. This is part of Amazing Futures.
Find out more about Amazing Futures young people’s advisory group
Amaze sometimes uses volunteers in the office to help with the day to day running of the organisation. This role suits someone who wants a regular commitment and is happy in a busy office doing activities like printing, mail outs and shredding. Some office volunteers take on more complex duties like recording feedback or helping update information resources. We only have space in the office for one volunteer each day so we only recruit a new office volunteer when one has to leave us. Office volunteering is a chance to develop admin skills or to make use of skills that you are not getting a chance to use in paid work at the moment.
Amaze’s hardworking fundraising team appreciate the support of volunteers. There is no fixed pattern to fundraising volunteering. You could become an active fundraiser for us or help out at events for example cheering our runners at races like the Brighton Marathon. Find out more about fundraising here.
Being a trustee is a special sort of volunteering. Trustees have a vital role in the management of Amaze as a charity. Find out more about becoming a trustee for Amaze.
We value volunteers who are parents of children with SEND and through Amazing Futures we welcome young people with SEND as volunteers. We also appreciate our volunteers who have worked in education, health and care roles and are now retired and have some spare time and energy. But Amaze volunteers come from all sorts of backgrounds and are all ages. Read more in Thinking about volunteering.
We aim to make sure all our volunteers are well-supported and get what they want from working with us as well as helping with our work. You can read our Volunteering Policy.
If you are ready to take the next step towards volunteering please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and give us some idea of the type of volunteering you hope to do so the right person can contact you. If you are already sure about what you would like to do you can complete and return the volunteering application form.