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Welcome to our November Newsletter
express News in Brief

Thank you so much to everyone who came along to our Comedy Night and made it such a special evening. All the money raised will go towards our pilot project providing counselling for autistic children and young people.

Thank you to the comedians Robyn Perkins, Steve Bugeja, Aaron Simmonds & Matt Richardson. Not only were they fabulously funny but they were all so lovely too.
Thank you to The CornerHouse and Outside The Box Comedy for all their support and help in putting the evening together.
Thank you to DoubleTree by Hilton Kingston Warren House The Wych Elm No97 Cake Owls Hollywood Bowl  for donating such lovely prizes.
Finally a very big thank you to all our volunteers 💜

We would also like to say a BIG THANK YOU  to Malden Golf Club who presented Express CIC with a cheque for £4520! They are a fabulous club and their support and generosity means so much to us.

We are very proud to be the lovely Kingston Chamber of Commerce cause this year and we are looking forward to exhibiting at the Chessington Business Expo on 6th November 2019 - a chance to meet local businesses and organisations.

A request has come in from a parent/carer who would specifically like to meet other (single) parent/carers of autistic adults. We would be very happy to set up a group - if you are interested or know someone who is please email stating which days/evenings would be best. We look forward to hearing from you.

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 18th November 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.
#SENDinquiry Report
Don’t let this be lost and pushed aside. For years we have been in meetings wading through the PR and gloss saying exactly how it is. We see the impact on children and their families. So many young people are being failed by the system. Our children matter.

The #SENDinquiry report calls on @educationgovuk to develop a way for parents & schools to report directly to the DfE if local authorities are not complying with the law.

‘In 2014, Parliament legislated with the intention of transforming the educational experiences of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. The reforms were ambitious: the Children and Families Bill sought to place young people at the heart of the system. However, as we set out in this report, that ambition remains to be realised. Let down by failures of implementation, the 2014 reforms have resulted in confusion and at times unlawful practice, bureaucratic nightmares, buck-passing and a lack of accountability, strained resources and adversarial experiences, and ultimately dashed the hopes of many.’

Full report:

The Committee's findings 

  • It has “no confidence that the target to reduce the numbers of people with learning disabilities and/or autism in mental health hospitals, set out in the NHS Long Term plan, will be met”. The biggest barrier to progress is a lack of political focus and accountability to drive change.
  • The detention of those with learning disabilities and/or autism is often inappropriate. It causes suffering and does long term damage.
  • The right housing, social care and health services needed to prevent people being detained inappropriately are simply not being commissioned at local level.
  • Too often families of young people, who may be desperately trying advocate on behalf of their children are considered to be the problem, when they can and should to be the solution.
The report on the detention of young people with learning disabilities &/or autism published today calls for urgent action to stop human rights abuses.

New SEND Community Alliance launched 

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


Great news! Express CIC has been selected as a 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 😊

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 
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

'It's a human right': the campaign for learning disabled people's love lives

'She's not an animal': Autistic teen girl locked up 24 hours a day

My autistic son struggles on public transport

Families forced to sell homes in fight for special needs support 

The link between epilepsy and autism explained 

Meeting a diagnostic threshold

SEND Inquiry report Part 2: No more review, it’s time to ACT
from Special Needs Jungle

What’s it like to have a smear test when you have a learning disability?

No golden ticket awaits parents of special needs pupils

Gangs use autistic teenagers as drug mules by exploiting loneliness

‘Neurodiversity is the next frontier. But we’re failing autistic people’

Steps to Employment - FREE courses for 16-19 year olds and up to age 19 -24 years for learners with an Education, Health and Care Plan.

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 SEN Support - parental feedback - LINK
An opportunity to tell AFC all about the support your child/young person does or should receive at school.
Kingston and Richmond families - do you have a child or young person receiving support for a special educational need at school (SEN Support)? AFC would like to hear your views on your child/young person's progress at his or her school. 

AFC Therapies Review -  LINK


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

#happyinschool project provides heart-centred #autism & #ADHD training for parents, educators & employers.
Parent project is ideal for parents whose children have:

- a diagnosis of autism or ADHD

- are awaiting a diagnosis of ADHD or autism

- been excluded from school

- a lack of confidence coping with mainstream school

Workshops are run by Suzy Rowland, autism advocate, writer, poet.

Next Workshop - Building Successful Relationships with your Childs School 

13th Nov  1.00pm-2.30pm at Express

Autism spectrum can be difficult to manage in a classroom, because it presents as individually as your child. There are many ways to support autistic children and young people to enable learning attainment. 

You will learn how to communicate confidently with your child’s teachers, asking the right questions and learning how to manage better, when situations become challenging. This workshop will help you to understand more about the process leading up to diagnosis and what to expect afterwards, giving you the skills you need to advocate successfully for your child.

If you would like to book a place please email with your name & age of your child.

Suggested donations for the sessions are £5 - £10 per session.
(if you are unable to make a donation please contact us as we have limited free spaces).
We look forward to seeing you!

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!


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

Christmas Wonderland – SEND Sessions


Latest autism friendly films

Click for details

Makaton Courses @ Express
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.

Professional Training Route
Foundation workshops
Taster Sessions
Using Makaton with Singing

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

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

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!
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

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
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.
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: NOV 18th
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!
Express Mum's Group

The group runs from the Waggon and Horses in Surbiton
19.30pm-21.30pm first Thursday bi-monthly, term time (next group 5th December. Come along, say hello and meet some other Mums.
To register your interest, please email
Express Dad's Group

The group runs from the Waggon and Horses in Surbiton
19.30pm-21.30pm second Wednesday bi-monthly, term time (next group 11th December). Come along, say hello and meet some other Dads.
To register your interest, please email
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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