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: 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 :)
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!
Waggon & Horses, Surbiton 5th December 19:30pm-21:30pm
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.
A BLOG FOR EXPRESS CIC
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.
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. TICKETS
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. www.facebook.com/expresscic
FUNDING AVAILABLE 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
SHOPPING ONLINE? 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
at express CIC, 452 Ewell Rd, Tolworth, London, KT6 7EL
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org 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
CLICK TO VIEW
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
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.
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.
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 email@example.com for available slots.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org No referral is needed.
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.
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.
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'