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Welcome to our December Newsletter
express News in Brief

We wanted to start this summary with our very best wishes to you all for Christmas and the New Year - this year has seen Express make significant progress towards our long term goal. 
Some background for those who don’t know: we have been working tirelessly for over 7 years now to secure the location we identified for our vision of an autism centre of excellence: a community hub, supporting autistic people and their families, a place for everyone... We led the way for the Localism Act to be implemented in Kingston and many groups have benefitted from our work in this area. 
We are hopeful 2020 will be the time we are finally able to make our own announcement, fingers, toes and everything else we can crossed!! 

In December news: the main event this month is obviously the General Election and we are co-hosting as before with Surbiton Churches Together. If you haven't booked to come along or submitted your questions there's still time just click on the link below: 
Kingston & Surbiton GE2019 Hustings
General Election 2019 Hustings
If you are supporting someone to vote you may find the following information from Dimensions helpful. 
Supporting someone to vote - Dimensions

We are very proud to be the lovely Kingston Chamber of Commerce cause this year and we met some very community minded businesses and organisations who offered their support at the Chessington Business Expo on 6th November 2019 - a great day.

We are delighted to be working closely with Kingston University and we have a guest blog below from Nicola Leonard. Nicola is a 3rd year Learning Disability Nurse at Kingston University who has a written a blog specifically for us explaining more about the role and giving contact details for local hospitals. 

Do make sure you scroll down to see the John Lewis Christmas advert and The Additional Needs Blogfather's thought's on it: Why Children With Additional Needs Are Like Edgar The Dragon :)

We would like to say a BIG THANK YOU 💜 to Kingston Awards
A fantastic £730 was raised for Express CIC at the awards.
Also a BIG THANK YOU 💜 to the lovely ladies of Soroptimist International Kingston Upon Thames and District who presented us with a cheque for £265.

Take a break, make yourself a cuppa & scroll all the way down for lots of information, events, groups, workshops and articles.

Express CIC is an independent, user led community organisation supporting young autistic people & their families.We welcome families from Kingston, Richmond & surrounding boroughs.
Over the last year we have directly supported approx. 600 children and adults (in our groups, support groups, 1:1, events & workshops) and many more by phone and email. This number looks set to grow over the next year. We continue to fundraise to keep our services running and expanding, for new equipment and for costs of creating the hub. 

Fabulous fundraisers are essential to Express so if you or someone you know would like to help raise some funds, please do let us know. It is easy to set up a secure fundraising page at LocalGiving

Thank you so much to everyone who supports us.
Please do take a look at our FACEBOOK and TWITTER as we regularly share news and information.

If you are booking a holiday or shopping online please do remember to go via  EasyFundraising and raise free donations for Express

We’d like to say a huge thank you to you all for being part of the Express community! 

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 or & for other events locally
Annette & Tracey

Express CIC Supported by The National Lottery Community Fund 
Our next support groups are: 

Mum's Group 
Waggon & Horses, Surbiton 5th December 19:30pm-21:30pm
Dad's Group 
Waggon & Horses, Surbiton 11th December 19:30pm-21:30pm
Parents of young people with PDA 
express offices 16th December 12:15pm-14:15pm   
Parent Support Group
express offices 17th December 13:00pm-14:30pm  

So do pop along whether you have been before or are new to Express. We would love to see you.
We also offer 1:1 appointments and telephone support.


The Role of the Acute Learning Disability Liaison Nurse. 
By Nicola Leonard (3rd year Learning Disability Student Nurse at Kingston University).

The Learning Disability Nurse Liaison Team can assist with identifying reasonable adjustments, promoting safety and minimising risk, and providing accessible information about treatments including easy read leaflets.  The team can support with the co-ordination of care from the time you attend hospital until after you are discharged. Learning Disability Liaison Nurses are involved in training staff and are also able to advise and support hospital staff in the delivery of personalised care. They will liaise with you, your child and other professionals to ensure everyone feels included in your child’s care. Learning Disability Nurses within the hospital setting are able to think outside the box to enable your child to access services as seamlessly as possible. This may involve desensitisation which can be crucial to ensure your child is able to have the necessary assessments and treatment.
The Liaison team can source easy read documentation, provide visuals and create documents such as the health action plan and hospital passports.  Examples of easy read documents that are available include having a scan; having general anaesthetic; going to A+E and many other health related leaflets. A health action plan is a document to help you to keep healthy, it explains what services and support your child needs to stay healthy, it also has dates of planned check-ups and previous health appointments. A hospital passport is designed to give hospital staff information about how to communicate with your child and to keep him or her safe.
The Learning Disability Team contact Information:
The acute liaison teams are available from 9 – 5pm, Monday to Friday excluding public holidays.
For Kingston hospital: Learning disability nurses from the Your Healthcare CIC Neurodevelopmental Service provide acute liaison and support for patients with a learning disability. The team can be contacted on
07984 497 743 
For Epsom Hospital: The Learning Disability Team based at Ramsey House provide acute liaison services. The team can be contacted on
07920 561 343 / 01372 202 100.
For East Surrey Hospital: The Learning Disability Team based at Gatton House provide acute liaison services. The team can be contacted on
07717 850 309 / 01737 288 800
For St Georges Hospital: Please contact Padriac or Rebbeccah on
020 8725 2217.
For other hospitals please contact the patient advice and liaison services who will be able to direct you to the right team.

Safeguarding and children with SEND:

What parents need to know
We are now signed up to K£
so you can use your K£ to donate to @expresscic and we can use them to buy local
Win Win @kingstonpound

#Kingston #Community

Include Autism this Christmas

Top Tips for Supporting Autistic People this Christmas


Balletboyz return to Sadler’s Wells on 9th December to share Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words.

Relaxed Screening at 11:30am There is a relaxed attitude to noise and movement in the auditorium during the Relaxed Screening, with sound levels reduced and house lighting adjusted. There will also be a designated 'break-out space' for audiences who may need time away from the screening.

Great news!  Express has been selected as Co-op local cause for another year. 

To support us you will need to select us again.

Please go to and choose us as your cause for this year.

#autism  #community  #dramatherapy  #drama  #siblings
Thank you 😊

Interesting Articles, Information and Guides :

Summary: Shorthand: Full Report:


A New Parents guide to “The Sneaky Snakey EHCP Funding SEND Game”
Bury Neuro Diverse Champs Video
SCHOOL REFUSAL | 5 ideas for supporting children who are struggling to attend school

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.

AFC are encouraging applications to the Activity Fund - up to £140 towards an activity of your child's choice if they are aged up to 18 years, have a diagnosed disability and live in Kingston or Richmond. You can use this funding to pay for Express Groups 


Why Children With Additional Needs Are Like Edgar The Dragon…/edgar-the-dragon/

Please remember to use easyfundraising when you do your Christmas shopping. 4,000 shops and sites will donate to EXPRESS At no extra cost to you - so you can raise donations when you buy gifts, decorations, your festive food shopping!

Workshop - Autism: The Early Years 

“Very inspiring and full of practical ideas. Amazing to listen to.
The day went so quickly as it was stimulating”
 - delegate, Dorking Nursery

An interactive workshop exploring autism in young children  

•    Towards a better understanding of autism
•    Finding the fun
•    Tackling the tricky bits

The workshop will be run by Sue Goldman, a specialist teacher and Early Years Professional, who is highly experienced in supporting young autistic children and their families

   Date:   Wednesday 11th December 2019 
Time:  9.30am – 12.30pm
   Place: Express CIC, 452 Ewell Road, Surbiton KT6 7EL 
Cost:   £20 for parents & £25 for professionals

To book your place, please contact

Makaton Courses @ Express

Professional Training Route
Foundation workshops
Taster Sessions
Using Makaton with Singing
We are delighted to host regular Makaton courses run by Makaton Trainer Fouad Abbad - contact Fouad for more details and availability on the courses. Reduced rates for parents.

Lots of regular dates coming up please contact or check Makaton Training

at express CIC, 452 Ewell Rd, Tolworth, London, KT6 7EL 

Please contact for more information or if you would like to take part. Interviews can take place at Express CIC.

Have you seen our lovely new leaflet designed by Wild Monkey Creations? Ped very kindly gave us his time and support and we think he has done a fantastic job. Please do share so that more families get to know about Express CIC and what we offer

New SEND Community Alliance

SEND National Crisis, SEND Action and  Special Needs Jungle, have linked together under the banner of “SEND Community Alliance”,  an independent SEND campaigners group.

Suzy is running a series of workshops from Express
for further information and to book direct see

 23 January 2020 19:00-21:00 
Newly diagnosed autism child under 11? Your New Beginning 

30 January  2020 from 19:00 – 21:00 
Autism & ADHD Therapies – What works & how? 

13 February  2020 from 19:00 – 21:00 
 Deep Dive in Autism & ADHD Behaviours 

Buds@Express is a small structured Parent/Carer & Child group for autistic preschoolers, including those who may not yet have a diagnosis. Activities are based on the highly-regarded Attention Autism programme, focusing on attention, communication & play development through clear structure, engaging activities & plenty of sparkle!
The group is led by Sue Goldman, an experienced Specialist Teacher (Autism) & Early Years Professional.
Sessions run for 1 hour on Wednesday mornings at Express for blocks of 5 weeks each half-term & continue throughout the school year. 
For more information, details of cost & to book please contact Sue via

We would like to expand our Sibs@Express to include siblings of children with additional needs (not just autism) as it is such a warm & welcoming group it would be lovely for the children to make some new friends.

SIBs @ Express

Sibs@Express is a group for children who have a brother or sister with additional needs to come together, make new friends and have a space to share their feelings in an understanding and supportive environment. The group is run by one of our therapists. 

​​The club runs weekly on Tuesdays at Express during term time & will have a maximum of 8 places in the group. 

​​To sign up fill out a referral form and email to
Please do spread the word!

Chessington Garden Centre are running SEND sessions for Christmas Wonderland / Santa Grotto experience.

Christmas Wonderland – SEND Sessions

Latest autism friendly films

Click for details
Relax and Recharge
Have you tried our interactive projector? The projector projects images onto a mat and your child can crawl, walk or jump on the mat, changing the images or revealing hidden pictures and numbers. Children love the interactive fun!
We are now opening up some slots for some chill out time -  come and stay and with your pre-schooler with a coffee and some interactive fun. You can book an individual slot or small groups welcome.
Email us at for available slots. 


Counselling Sessions
We set up our counselling service because many people told us that they would find it helpful to have a space to talk through the impact of having a child with special needs. It will be no surprise for you to learn that parents and carers of children with special needs are disproportionately affected by mental health difficulties. Yet it is also often very difficult for parents to give time to looking after themselves, including accessing services which would support their well-being, such as counselling.

You don't have to be in crisis or feeling really low to access this service - we are here for anyone who would just like to have the opportunity to talk to someone one to one, in a confidential and non-judgemental space. Seeking support before it all becomes overwhelming can be a good idea. We are also available for other family members, such as Grandparents, who may be struggling with caring or coming to terms with a member of the family having an autism or other diagnosis.

If you are interested in counselling or would like more information, please contact No referral is needed.

Children with SEND and the emotional impact on parents

We offer pre & post diagnosis support (telephone/email & 1:1 appointments), parent support groups & counselling.

Open to families in Kingston, Richmond & surrounding boroughs.

Did you know that IPSEA have a range of model letters available to download? From requesting an EHC needs assessment or responding to a draft EHC plan, to complaining when the educational provision in an EHC plan is not being made.
Find them here

This wonderful video has been shared many times but if you haven't seen it yet & especially for all our new Express families it really is worth a watch.
We have shared this lovely video by Joe before
 but if you haven't seen it yet & especially for all our new Express families it really is worth a watch.
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. 

Rose Theatre (dates via newsletter) 
Mum's Group 1st Thursday bi-month (term time)
Waggon & Horses 19:30pm-21:30pm
Dad's Group 2nd Wednesday bi-monthly (term time)
Waggon & Horses 19:30pm-21:30pm
NEXT: DEC 11th
Parents of young people with PDA profile 3rd Monday of the month (term time)
express Offices 12:15pm-14:15pm   
NEXT: DEC 16th
Parent Support Group Last Tuesday bi-monthly (term time) 
express Offices 13:00pm-14:30pm  
NEXT: DEC 17th
EHCP & DLA 1:1 Support by Appt.
express Offices
Contact t
o arrange an appt.
Counselling Service day & eve appointments available
express Offices 
Contact to arrange appt.

Access Card | Making access easy

What is the Access Card?

Information, Evidence, Discounts and Opportunities for Disabled People

The Access Card is a card like no other, we translate your disability / impairment
into symbols which highlight the barriers you face and
the reasonable adjustments you might need.

This then informs providers quickly and discreetly about the support you need and may gain you access to things like concessionary ticket prices and complex reasonable adjustments without having to go into loads of personal detail.

It’s all based on your rights under the Equality Act and providers responsibilities.

Post 16 Opportunities Pack and new Next Steps Pack for SEND learners have been published

The above packs have now been uploaded to the Local Offer website here:  

If you have any enquiries about the packs or Post 16 information please send them directly to the 14-19 team at
  Help support an autistic child by donating!
To be able to offer our groups we rely on fundraising and donations.

You can support us from as little as £2 per month and help us offer more spaces.

Please take a look at LocalGiving and see how you can help! Your donation really can make a difference!
Education, Health and Care Plan Annual Review Animation
An Introduction to Express CIC
Thank you to John Williams who made this lovely video for us.

If you work in a school or other setting, please do pass on our details and spread the word. Parents really do benefit from the support of other parents who 'get it'. We offer telephone and email support as well as group and one to one 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

Supported by The National Lottery Community Fund
Copyright © 2019 Express CIC, All rights reserved.
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