PaCC joins forces with Amaze to provide support groups

Stronger together – PaCC and Amaze join forces to provide support groups and befriending for parents of disabled children in Brighton & Hove.

Amaze’s Face 2 Face service for parent carers is changing. Rebranded ‘Parent groups and befriending’, the new service is a partnership between us, Brighton & Hove Parent Carers’ Council (PaCC), East Sussex Parent Carer Forum (ESPCF) and Amaze.

From May this year, PaCC and Amaze will regular friendly drop-in parent groups across Brighton & Hove in partnership; sometimes we’ll have sessions on SEND issues parents want to know more about; sometimes we’ll ask for views on a particular issue so we can help services change for the better.

Sally Polanski, Amaze CEO, explains why the partnership is so important:

“Time and again, SEND families tell us that connecting with other parents like them is one of the main things that helps them get by. This partnership helps us to protect and strengthen this kind of crucial emotional support at a time when demand for our services is rising and funding pressures are increasing.  We already work closely with the parent carer forums for Brighton & Hove and East Sussex, but this project marks a new phase in joint working, enabling us to support families and engage them on key issues that affect them far more effectively.”

The idea of creating spaces for parent carers to meet up at coffee mornings, came about in 2012. Amaze put forward a proposal to have a ‘pilot’ project, a small-scale experiment to see how feasible and effective the spaces would be. The project’s aim was to reach out and engage with families in two of the most deprived neighbourhoods in Brighton & Hove, Moulsecoomb and Bevendean in the East, and Hangleton & Knoll in the West.

The pilot project started in 2013 and it revealed that there was a real need for such spaces and support, and so the coffee mornings became a permanent feature in Brighton & Hove, a space where parent carers could meet other parents, feel less isolated and also find out more about what’s available in the city.

In 2014 PaCC took on the running of the two coffees mornings until now, where the new partnership between PaCC and Amaze started to take shape.

The Hangleton & Knoll Parent Carers and the Sunflower Support Group coffee mornings have been an invaluable space for many parent carers, they have also been a way for PaCC to listen to parent carers. The new parent groups partnership will enable those precious spaces to be even more effective.

The Sunflower Support Group coffee morning will carry on taking place every 2nd Thursday of the month, term time only, at The Bevy, 50 Hillside, Bevendean, BN2 4TF.

Sadly, the Hangleton & Knoll Parent Carers coffee morning has now closed (which used to take place at St Richards’ Church and Community Centre, Egmont Road, BN3 7FP) and is replaced by the Portslade parent support group, run with Hillpark school, monthly on Wednesdays at Portslade Village Centre, BN41 2LZ.

Details of all our upcoming coffee morning dates can be found here.

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