Supporting families of
children with additional needs

We have free monthly drop in sessions, a specialist weekly programme and additional workshops to guide, advise and support you for as long as you need us
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The MAZE is a unique approach to SEND, which offers insight into how children with additional needs experiences the world

The MAZE Group run free monthly drop-in sessions, a specialist weekly programme and additional workshops to guide, advise and support families of children with additional needs. We run special educational needs & disability (SEND) parenting groups with regular coffee mornings around Essex, in Colchester, Clacton & Harwich. With a renewed insight into the perception of your child you will be able to:

• Understand how your child is affected by their additional needs and why they present in the way they do
• Unpick challenging behaviours and understand how to replace these with functional skills
• Explore how to improve emotional well-being and promote self-esteem
• Understand how to secure good emotional provision and how to access services for your child
• Share experiences with other parents of children with additional needs

*Please note that this SEND parenting programme is for parents only and that we cannot accommodate children at the weekly group*






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What is MAZE and what do you do?

The MAZE Group is a community group of parents of children with additional needs who provide support and information for other parents. We offer a specialist weekly programme, drop-in coffee mornings, additional workshops and a lot of online content via Facebook and our website. The website contains lots of information about what we do. This is the best place to start to learn about The MAZE Group.

Do you provide a service for children and young people?

Our service is only for parents and carers and any other adults affected by additional needs.  We don’t offer a service for children, but we can provide information for you about other local organisations that we collaborate with who can offer services for children.

What does it cost to come to MAZE activities?

Our coffee mornings are free.  These are hosted by Colchester Parents Support (in Colchester), Harwich Parents Support (in Harwich) and Shorefields School (in Clacton).   The coffee morning teams are all MAZE Parent Mentors and facilitators. The online content and videos are also free. The specialist weekly programme costs £70 in total per person (or £100 for a partner or another family member to attend with you) and you can spread these payments out if you need to.  The cost of our workshops is usually £25 and there is a different cost for webinars, depending on how long they last.

How do I book a place on the weekly specialist programme?

To book a place, you simply fill in the online booking form on the website and submit it.  We will send you an email to let you know we have received your form. Usually, we will then ask you for a £10 deposit before the next group starts to reserve your place.  If you have any trouble with this, you can also give us a call on 07809900161.

Does my child need to have a diagnosis for me to attend MAZE activities?

No, you can come whenever you need to. The MAZE Group is for parents/carers who have children with additional needs whatever these may be and many children have additional needs but no diagnosis.  Just because a child doesn’t (yet) have a diagnosis, it doesn’t mean they don’t have additional needs and we believe that the sooner parents are able to access help and support the better this is for children, parents and families.

If I am waiting for the next available place on the weekly group, what other help can I access?

You are always welcome to come to any of our coffee mornings at any time.  Here, you can speak to one of The MAZE Group team or the visiting professionals who often attend for free, confidential advice.  We can also help you to meet and chat with other parents/carers in the same situation as yourself or someone else who has been through these experiences who can share their knowledge with you.  There are also a number of videos that you may find useful on the website (in the Learning Materials section) and if you follow and like the MAZE Groups Facebook page, this will also provide you with a lot of useful information to help you on your journey.

How to access The MAZE Group during COVID-19?

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, MAZE has suspended all face to face activities indefinitely. We hope to be able to recommence in September, but this will be dependent on the situation and government advice.

In the meantime, we are continuing to offer free support and information in the following ways:

–   Weekly Facebook live talks on Mondays at 10 am. There is a free help sheet to accompany each talk, with more information, resources, links, strategies and advice. You can watch the videos live or watch them later on-demand and you can sign up for the help sheet by joining our mailing list below.

–   Coffee evenings via Zoom every Wednesday evening at 7 pm. The link for the coffee evening is shared in “events” on our Facebook page.

–   Get in touch or send us a message if you need to speak to someone for advice, support or help during the lockdown and we will arrange a 30-minute phone or video consultation with you.