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Welcome to our March Newsletter
express News in Brief 

Express CIC is an independent, user led community organisation supporting young autistic people & their families. We welcome families from Kingston, Richmond & surrounding boroughs. 

We hope you and your families are well. 
Please do scroll down for specific news about our services and the support we offer. 

This month is the start of Spring, it brings signs of new beginnings, new life, new hope. We are always hopeful, always persevere. Despite what gets thrown at us: broken promises; a pandemic; decrease in fundraising; increasing needs & additional costs we continue to push forward and grow. We will not give up but we need your support more than ever. We chose this route to create a supportive understanding and accepting community for autistic people and their families. To create opportunities for young autistic people to express themselves, improve self esteem and wellbeing to help them reach their potential. We remain committed but we are a small team so please if you can - volunteer your time to help us with fundraising, PR, marketing. 

Thank you to Joe for our guest blog this month. We welcome guest blogs, so if you are a young autistic person or know someone who would like to share their experience please email us

Take a look at our groups and services 

We are currently offering online sessions and outdoor sessions to help autistic children and young people express themselves safely - contact for further information.
We also hope to have our group sessions up and running soon so please do submit a referral.

Wherever you find yourself, if you are finding things difficult, please ask for help. See below for further details of our services and support. If we are unable to help we can put you in touch with someone who can. 

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

Take care. 
Stay safe. 
Sending virtual hugs, 
Annette & Tracey 

Your comments are always welcome - please email us on to contact us. 
Please do also take a look at our WebsiteFacebook and Twitter as we regularly share news, events and information & for other events locally click here 
We’d like to say a huge thank you to you all for being part of the express community 💜 
Express CIC Supported by The National Lottery Community Fund 

What do you think?
Let us know what you like or dislike about our newsletter. What would you like to see more or less of? Do you read it to the end? Do you 'take a smile'?
March Express Coffee Morning with Guest Speaker Suzy Rowland from Happy in School

“Suzy Rowland is an Autism & ADHD Specialist trainer and coach, a cognitive behavioural therapist, Founder of the Happyinschool​ Project and author of S.E.N.D. in the Clowns.

Suzy is delighted to be giving a talk for Express CIC

Monday 15th March: 'Autism and ADHD: Dual Diagnosis’ It promises to be an informative, sensitive and interactive session, providing practical tools and ideas to help parents and kids.

See Suzy in action on her YouTube channel, where she posts about SEN and families, click #HappyInSchool to view it. She's also giving a talk about School Avoidance at a brand new online conference called Connected by Autism, which is being hosted by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. 

At Express we are continuing to adapt services to meet the needs of our community. We are receiving lots of new enquiries and referrals and we are 'virtually' meeting lots of new families along the way.
 We are providing
* 1:1 online sessions for autistic children and young people  

* phone/online counselling sessions for parent/carers
* phone call check ins to support or just for a friendly chat. If you would like one of our volunteers to call, please let us know.
(Some face to face sessions are available subject to guidelines and risk assessment)
 Please do let us know if there are other ways we can help. 
A BIG THANK YOU to our therapists, counsellors and volunteers who are being so creative and amazing.
See or email
for details of groups, connect & outdoor sessions
Confidence building, develop friendships, skills, interact & connect in a fun, supportive environment
#autism #sibs #drama #dramatherapy
Express Mum's Group Zoom meet-up is on
4th March 21.00-22.30pm.
Please email us on or for Zoom registration details.

Express PDA Group Zoom meet-up is on
15th March 12.30-14.00pm.
Please email us on for Zoom registration details.

Information vaccines: for people with a learning disability and autistic people

Autism, anxiety and fatigue: a guest blog by Joe Fautley

Anxiety is a powerful emotion and should never be underestimated. Personally, I encounter anxiety on a daily basis and this impacts on my everyday life. Autistic people are more likely to experience higher levels of anxiety daily as they must navigate a complicated and often confusing sensory and social world. Anxiety can be triggered by a variety of factors which include difficulties with communication and social interactions and finding it hard to predict or adapt to certain sensory situations. For me, extreme anxiety often leads to what I call ‘zoning out’ – a coping mechanism of the brain for dealing with stress which makes me switch off from what is happening around me. Not all Autistic people may be able to speak or articulate how they are feeling when their anxiety becomes too high. 

Fatigue, and then subsequent burnout, can happen to anybody. Autistic people, however, can find both more challenging, due to the pressures of everyday life, having to navigate social situations and sensory overload. Trying to cope with these pressures can lead to exhaustion (Autistic fatigue) and over time this can lead to Autistic burnout. For me personally, managing fatigue can be a difficult process especially when I have had a stressful day. Extreme fatigue can be caused by a variety of factors including sensory overload and dealing with social situations. Neuro-typical people can talk to each other automatically, but Autistic people always need time to process verbal information. For some, simply having a conversation can be the hardest part of the day.

An interesting way of how I describe my fatigue is the ‘glass of water’ example. I picture my energy as a glass of water that I have to carry all day. At the start of the day, the glass is full, but as I move through the day, the water in the glass gradually splashes and spills until eventually every drop is gone. When it’s gone, there is no way to fill up the glass again. I have towait for the start of the next day when my glass of energy will be full again.

Thank you for reading my blog!

Interesting Articles, Information, Consultations and Guides: 

Autism, COVID, and hospital…
Sunderland University: New degree for special educational needs and disability teachers
Vaccination joy: A good week for people with learning disabilities in the UK
Eating Disorder Awareness Week
Dear parents of autistic children
Beyond words - Coping with Coronavirus
COVID-19: Roadmap out of lockdown: step 1 (easy-read)
Doctors fear new child mental health crisis in UK, made worse by Covid
Diverse Minds Employment Survey
Masking and Camouflaging as an autistic person

Learning Disabilities - Resources from the LeDeR program: 
Signs that a person is becoming unwell 
Infection including Sepsis 
Aspiration pneumonia 

Easy read coronavirus posters - free to print or share online 

Steps to Employment - FREE courses for 16-19 year olds and up to age 19 -24 years for learners with an EHCP 
Summary: Shorthand: Full Report: 
Education Committee published the Government’s response to the previous Committee’s #SEND report here 

The 2019 Learning Disabilities Mortality Review #LeDeR annual report is now available here 
Webinar main findings 
NHS England’s response: Action from Learning Report 2019/2020 - here 
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. 

Help raise funds for Express CIC by signing up to support us for FREE on #easyfundraising. If you haven’t signed up yet, please take a look. It really is easy and you will be making a big difference. Sign up today:…

You can raise donations whenever you shop online with over 4,400 retailers including John Lewis & Partners, eBay, Argos, ASOS, M&S and more. This will make a BIG difference to us during this difficult time. PLUS, if you sign up before 5th February, we’ll be eligible for a £5 bonus too!

If you are already signed up Thank you. Please let your friends and family know how they can support us too.

Thank you 💜

Recently we have received some membership requests for the Express CIC Forum. We would love to welcome you but we can only approve membership if you answer all the questions and agree group rules. 
If you have recently applied please can you check your request is complete. 
Counselling Service for parents/carers of children
with additional needs and disabilities

As parent/carers, life can be very challenging. It can feel overwhelming trying to manage the needs of your child and balance this with all the other parts of your life; family, work, friends. It is often hard to talk about your feelings with those close to you because you don't want to burden them or it can feel like they won't understand. Counselling can offer a safe space where you can talk through all of your difficulties and anxieties. A counsellor is trained to listen and support you in a non-judgemental way, creating a safe space for you to express your feelings, whatever they may be.

This is offered as a low cost service.

 If you are interested in this service, please email:

'Towards the end of the sessions, I felt more able to predict/understand the anxieties that I was experiencing so that I could put in strategies to help me move forwards'

'I really appreciated the counselling sessions and have felt they were greatly beneficial'

' I felt more confident that I was beginning to understand the connection of historic issues that had been impacting on me in the present'
This year, Express CIC has been chosen to benefit from the Co-op Local Community Fund. At a time when funds for charitable organisations are becoming more difficult to access, we’re incredibly grateful for this opportunity to make a real difference to the autistic children, young people & families we support. To help us raise vital funds, we’ll be relying on Co-op shoppers.
Every time you buy Co-op own-brand products you will get a 5% reward for yourself, and a further 1% goes to local causes like ours.

We need lots of lovely people to choose us as their cause & help us spread the word. 
Please click on the 
to show your support, & encourage friends, families & colleagues too.
Thank you.
What is Drama Therapy at Express
'Express Zoom sessions help young people to feel connected to the outside world and offer a space to explore some ways to manage the worries that we are all currently faced with. Sessions can help with confidence and self esteem, social interaction and it is often helpful to speak with someone who is impartial and have some time and space of their own.'

We are really pleased to be able to offer subsidised 1:1 online sessions for autistic children and young people. 

The secure Zoom sessions with Ali or Jen provide a continued connection, a safe space to express and an impartial person to check in with each week.
Some of our young people report they find the sessions helpful as a way to feel ‘connected with the outside world'

If your young person is already known to us (if not known to us you will need to complete a referral) and would like to have a 1:1 Zoom session please email . You will need to download the Zoom App or use the web version, it is free to use.

The census is coming. By taking part, you can help inform decisions about services that shape your community, such as healthcare, education and transport. 
It’s important that you fill in your census questionnaire because it gives us the most detailed information we have about our society. 
Without the information you share, it’d be more difficult to understand our community’s needs and plan and fund public services. 
Ahead of Census Day (Sunday 21 March), the Office for National Statistics (ONS) will send you a letter in the post with an access code and instructions. 
You can do your census online as soon as you get yours. If your household circumstances change on Census Day, you can let the ONS know. 
The ONS aim to make things as easy as possible for everyone, but if you need help taking part in the census, there’s a wide range of support services available. 
You can request support for yourself, or someone else, including: 
  • guidance and help in many languages and formats
  • a paper version of the questionnaire, if you prefer
  • accessible census guidance, for example, in braille
There is a help area on the census website. It covers everything from who to include on the questionnaire to how to answer each question.
If you cannot find what you need there, there’s a dedicated contact centre where census staff will be on hand to give help over the phone, in a web chat or on social media.
If you need help, visit

As a small local independent organisation we rely heavily on fundraising and donations. We have been hit extremely hard by the loss of our usual fundraising opportunities. As we have been focusing on adapting to meet the needs of our community we have had little time to focus on raising funds. All this, as demand for our services increase. We want to contuniue to make a positive difference. 

If you can, please consider setting up a Direct Debit (from £2 per month) or making a one off donation on our secure LocalGiving page

All money goes on providing services and support for local autistic children, young people and their families. 

You really can make a difference and we really need your support.

Please do share our leaflet so that more families get to know about
Express CIC and what we offer  💜

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
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Express CIC
452 Ewell Road
SurbitonKT6 7EL

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Express CIC · 452 Ewell Road · Surbiton, KT6 7EL · United Kingdom