Brighton charity helps families with children who have special educational needs and disabilities during school closures

A Brighton charity is sharing advice with families who have children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) during school closures.

Tuesday, 24th March 2020, 9:56 am
Amaze staff

Amaze is providing parents and families with resources to cope with school closures; including a community postcard.

The charity, which provides support and a helpline for families with disabled children and young people in Sussex, has published a list of FAQs and activities on its website.

A ‘community postcard’ has also been released by the charity. The printable card can be used by those who want to help families of SEND children and can be posted through letter boxes.

Amaze Community Postcards

It allows members of the public to offer practical help like making a trip to the shops, walking a family’s dog, or simply having a phone call with them.

Rachel Travers, CEO at Amaze, said: “This is a very worrying time for everyone, especially parents of children who may be especially vulnerable because of pre-existing medical conditions but also for some children and young people who are experiencing higher than usual levels of anxiety or other mental health issues.

“Families are telling us they are really worried about the months to come and how long periods in self-isolation will be especially tricky for many families of children with additional needs.

“It’s really important that the local community looks out for, and tries to offer practical support to them, where possible.”

Rachel says that the charity’s FAQs differ from the ‘generic advice’ coming from government as they are tailored for families with SENDs children and young people.

“If you have a child with SENDs then this social distancing is all the more significant.” she said.

Amaze manages a discount leisure card scheme called The Compass but with current social distancing measures and businesses closing, opportunities to access respite and short breaks providers have decreased.

To help families during this time, the charity have collated a blog with ideas for leisure and activities.

Fiona England, chairwoman of Brighton’s Parent and Carers Council said: “As a fellow parent carer already feeling a little isolated at home, I feel so heartened by the positive impact this campaign can have on our SEND community.

“A huge thanks to Amaze for kick starting this essential scheme.”

More information about Amaze and further resources can be found at its website here.