News, Events & Back to school

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Welcome to our September Newsletter!
express News in Brief

Hope you have had a lovely Summer and back to school/college goes well. Over the past few weeks there has been lots of talk about exam results. We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all our young people on all of their achievements, whatever they may be. The journey may sometimes take longer or travel a different path but all your achievements are truly amazing.

Exciting news this month. September sees the release of John Williams book (see details below). Many of you will know John Williams from his blog or coming to see his show My Son's Not Rainman. John has become a really good friend to us and his support for Express has been amazing. We wish John and his beautiful boy lots of success.

We look forward to our groups starting back in September. Do take a look below for details.

We are still working on providing even more evidence that there is a need for services! We really do need all parent/carers to take a few minutes to complete our survey 

Please could we ask as many people as possible to sign up to easyfundraising. It doesn't cost you anything and you can raise money for express when you shop online. You can also set up a regular donation via direct debit on our local giving page.
Express is run by parent/carer volunteers. We have an excellent dedicated small team of volunteers but we really do need support with fundraising to help cover our increasing costs. Please do consider fundraising for us, however big or small it all helps! Some ideas ... Coffee mornings, cake sales, quiz night in your local, good as new sale or pamper evening. Please also nominate us in your local supermarket schemes or look out for community funds we can apply for. We really need your help!

Your comments are always welcome - please click here to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you. 

For further information on our upcoming events you can visit & for other events locally

best wishes,
Annette & Tracey

express Support Groups
If you haven't yet been to one of our parent/carer support groups, please do come along. We are all very friendly and these groups are run by and for you. These groups are for whether you are currently going through diagnosis, have just received a diagnosis or have valuable experience to share. We run both daytime and evening groups. 
Bi monthly (dates via newsletter) at the Rose Theatre
NEW Mum's Group 1st Thursday of the month (term time) at the Waggon & Horses 7:30-9:30pm
NEW 2nd Tuesday of the month at the Express Offices 9:00-11:00am  
Dad's Group 2nd Wednesday of the month at Waggon & Horses 7:30-9:30pm
TYA 3rd Monday of the month at the Express Offices 7:30-9:00pm   
NEXT: SEPT 19th 
Last Tuesday of the month (term time) at Moor Lane Centre 1:00-2:30pm  
Every Tuesday EHCP 1:1 Support by Appt. - Express Offices 9:00-12:00pm  Contact or (to arrange appt.)
Express Dad's Group
 The group runs from the Waggon and Horses in Surbiton 7.30-9.30pm on the second Wednesday of the month (next group 14th Sept). Come along, say hello and meet some other Dads. To register your interest, please email
Express Mum's Group

A new group for Mums.The group will run from the Waggon and Horses in Surbiton 7.30-9.30pm on the first Thursday of the month (launching 6th Oct). Come along, say hello and meet some other Mums. To register your interest, please email

Girls Group
Taster Session - 13TH SEPTEMBER 2016  5.45pm – 6.45pm

Girls Group is a new weekly meet up opportunity for girls on the autism spectrum aged 8-11. The group will be run by Dramatherapist, Louisa Webster, who will use her creative skills and experience of working with young people to create fun, creative and inclusive sessions for the girls who join. The sessions will run on a Tuesday, term time only, from 5.45pm-6.45pm at Express CIC in Tolworth (just off A3). We ask for group members to commit to at least a term of attendance.
For more information and to book the free taster session please contact:

My Son's Not Rainman: One Man, One Boy with Autism, a Million Adventures 

Released 1st Sept. A beautiful account of a father, son & grandfather. So excited for John.  We wish John & his beautiful boy lots of success.

This isn’t a story about autism. It’s a story about a young boy who happens to have autism, and there is a difference. John Williams is a stand-up comedian. He is also a single father and full-time carer for his son, who has autism and cerebral palsy. This is their incredible story. In 2012, John started a blog called My Son’s Not Rainman, a heartfelt and uplifting account of everyday life for him and ‘The Boy’. Following on from the blog’s amazing success, John felt there was still much more of their life, past and present, that he wanted to share. And not only of the challenges of bringing up a child who for too long was just dismissed as ‘difficult’, but also of the joy of living with someone who looks at the world in a unique way. My Son’s Not Rainman radiates warmth, care and passion, not to mention laugh-out-loud humour, on every page. It is a brilliantly different story about a brilliantly different boy.

Available from Waterstones   WHSmith   Regency Bookshop 

On 17th July Express launched our first ever dragon boat team at the annual Rotary Club challenge event in Canbury Gardens.

Well done to our Dragon Boaters who have raise an amazing £911.Thank you to everyone who has sponsored them.

 If you would like to help them reach their target you can still donate

We will be at Surbiton Farmers' Market
17th September 09.00am -13.00pm

Come along and say hello!


From the Wonderful Chris Bonnello at Autistic Not Wierd
As GCSE results come out today, I'd like to congratulate everyone who achieved something brilliant.

And by "brilliant", I don't mean simply pushing those letters as high up the alphabet as you can. It's more than that. For example, today I am congratulating a former student of mine who, despite certain difficulties specific to her, has managed to pass GCSE English. :D And trust me, that is something awesome.

Speaking as a former teacher, education shouldn't be about mere attainment (that is to say, getting high marks to the exclusion of anything else). Today should really be about personal achievement- what you achieved compared to what you set out to do. If you were expecting As and you got A*s, that's amazing- congratulations! Equally, if you were expecting Us and you got Gs, that's also amazing! And I'm certainly sending a long-distance high five to someone I know who managed just that, through some incredibly hard work and overcoming a bunch of disadvantages like a boss.

Because that's what personal achievement is. Don't waste today comparing yourself to others. Whatever you got- if it's an achievement in your own circumstances, you deserve all the congratulations that come your way. :)
6 Requests for the Mainstream Teacher of my Child with Autism

We have been in contact with Clarks in Kingston and they have a number of 9am appointment slots available for your use from 27th Aug to 6th Sept if you would like to book a quieter time. Appointments are also available at other times but they may be much busier. You can book by phoning 02085460388 or via website You may also want to check that they have particular stock in at this busy back to school time.

Don't forget to mention Express.

Thank you to Michael, the Store Manager.

SpectrumBreaks - Hartlands Isle of Wight
opens October 2016
The Hartlands is a delightful Victorian holiday centre situated in Shanklin on the south coast of the beautiful and tranquil Isle of Wight. 

The centre has been designed by Colin & Elaine with help from a leading specialist Dr Viv Hinchcliffe to provide self catering accommodation and facilities to support families with members of any age on the Autistic Spectrum. For a holiday where Autism is understood and catered for.


Makaton Courses
We are delighted to host Makaton courses run by Makaton Trainer Fouad Abbad - see details
Parent Carer Needs Assessments
Parent carers of children under 18 years of age have a stand-alone right to assessments and services under the Children’s and Families Act 2014. This is called a Parent Carer Needs Assessment (PCNA).

Parent Carer Needs Assessment forms are now available on AFC Local Offer website.
Take a look at our new video - An Introduction to Express CIC
Thank you to John Williams who made this lovely video for us.

Interesting Articles :

Schools of Thought 

10 Signs I Dread As An Autism Parent 

Autism: Useful Tips for School Teachers | Back to School

I  Was Diagnosed With Autism in My 40s

If you come across any interesting articles you'd like us to share in our newsletter next month please do email them to us. Also feel free to share on our facebook page.

Schedule of events now updated including upcoming open meetings.

Did you know that whenever you buy anything online - from your weekly shop to your annual holiday - you could be raising a free donation for Express?


There are nearly 3,000 retailers on board ready to make a donation, including the holiday companies above as well as Amazon, John Lewis, Aviva, thetrainline and Sainsbury's – it doesn't cost you a penny extra!

It's really simple, all you have to do is:

1. Join.
Head to and sign up for free.

2. Shop.
Every time you shop online, go to easyfundraising first, pick the retailer you want and start shopping.

3. Raise.
After you’ve checked out, that retailer will make a donation to your good cause for no extra cost whatsoever!

There are no catches or hidden charges and Express will be really grateful for your donations.

Thank you for your support.

Express CIC - 'creating a hub in the heart of the community, supporting young people with autism and their families, a place for everyone'
Reg. no. 8202424
Copyright © 2016 Express CIC, All rights reserved.
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