Welcome to our February 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.
It's been an incredibly busy and rewarding start to the year, with lots of planning for groups and events coming up. We have also welcomed lots of new families to the Express community.
Some Big Thank you's 💜
Kingston 41 Club who raised £500 for Express at their 60th Anniversary raffle in December. Tolworth School who raised £36.40 for Express from their staff Christmas Jumper day. Trevor Aston Photography for donating his time and expertise for our new photos - we were two very reluctant subjects that Trevor made feel at ease.
Save the dates!
Thursday 26th March - Express Autism Conference
Friday 1st May - Kingston Chamber President's Evening (supporting Express)
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. Take a break, make yourself a cuppa & scroll all the way down for lots of information, events, groups, workshops and articles.
Please do also 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!
Waggon & Horses, Surbiton 6th February 19:30pm-21:30pm
Waggon & Horses, Surbiton 12th February 19:30pm-21:30pm
Parents of young people with PDA
express offices 24th February 12:15pm-14:15pm
Parent Support Group
express offices 25th February 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.
When you hear the word Autism, what goes through your head?
When you hear the word Autism, what goes through your head? Could you explain it? All of these people, have one thing in common. One thing they want to teach you about. From the youngest to the oldest they all want the same thing. Let them tell you.
Did you know you can donate from £2.00 (less than a ☕️) a month and make a really big difference?
It’s easy to set up a Direct Debit on our secure localgiving page https://localgiving.org/charity/expresscic/
Regular donations are essential to help us plan and grow. Please consider setting one up today. You really will be making a difference 💜
Meet Ali our new therapist!
Ali has joined the Express Team to run our new
Express Friday Club
Express Friday Club - NEW CLUB
Express Friday Club is a supportive and inclusive group for autistic teens that aims to foster connection, communication and interaction through structured games and creative ways to express ourselves. Benefits of small groups: * Confidence building * Increases Social interaction skills * Enjoyment and fun * Helping to Feel comfortable and at ease with others * Finding Ways to effectively communicate
Hello My name is Weronika and I am one of the Dramatherapists working for Express CIC. I run two groups on Tuesdays called The Sibs Group and The Girl’s Group.
Both groups have been running for many years and I have been with the groups initially as a trainee in 2017 and took over as the facilitator in January 2019.
I’d like to share a little about both groups:
Sibling's Group The Sibs Group is a group for children who have a sibling who is on the Autism Spectrum. It is a group which provides space for the children to express their own feelings around having siblings who are autistic, as well as what it feels like to sometimes be a young carer. The groups are creative and give the children an opportunity to make friends who understand their situation through play and fun. This group runs every Tuesday during term time in 10 week blocks at 4:00pm-5:00pm at our Express CIC Hub in Tolworth. We currently have availability for new members to join us. If you would like to know more please email email@example.com
Girl's Group The Girl’s Group is a group designed for girls on the Autistic Spectrum to provide them with a space to express themselves through art and creativity. The groups are led with the girl’s interests in mind and sessions can differ depending on what the group wants to do that week. We always have art, music and drama activities on offer which the girls can choose from. These groups run after the Sibs Group also on Tuesdays at 5:15pm-6:15pm. We currently have space for 2 girls who would like to find a place where they can make friends through play and creativity. If you would like to know more please email firstname.lastname@example.org
A referral form can be found on www.expresscic.org.uk/groups and should be sent to the group emails above. There is no formal assessment before joining the groups, but if the child is not suitable for the group this can be discussed with the therapist and we can think of the best and most suitable solution for you and your child.
Express CIC is one of the most unique and special work places – I am very pleased I have the opportunity to work alongside Tracey and Annette who are so passionate about providing the best support services for families in the Kingston Borough. They will welcome anyone with open arms and answer questions when needed. If you would like to know more please email the specific group emails above or the express main email at email@example.com
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
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
The Centre for Research in Autism and Education and Ambitious about Autism are looking for participants to take part in an online survey about the post-16 educational experiences of young people and/or their families. Please see below if you are interested in taking part:
Why is this research important?
In 2011, Ambitious about Autism published a report calling for a clear legal right to educational support up to the age of 25 for young disabled people. Whilst this was subsequently achieved through the Children and Families Act 2014, the impact of this on young autistic people and their families has not been investigated. The aim of the current research is to understand and evaluate the impact of the Act – what works well and what could be done better.
Who can take part?
Young autistic people (between the ages of 16 and 25)
Parents/carers of young autistic people
How do you take part?
To take part/find out more, visit https://bit.ly/2t6DRbT. If you choose to complete the survey and leave your email address, you will be entered into a prize draw to win up to £100!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org No referral is needed.
Suzy is running a series of workshops at Express - we are happy to support this project and have donated the space to help lower ticket costs for attendees - for further information and to book and pay Suzy 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 & Friday mornings at express for blocks of 5 weeks each half-term & continue throughout the school year. We are very happy to support this project and have donated the space to help lower ticket costs for attendees.
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 email@example.com for available slots.
Open to families in Kingston, Richmond & surrounding boroughs.
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.
From Achieving for Children:
Preparing for Adulthood Transition events for young people and their families - a reminder to register.
We are pleased to announce the Preparing for Adulthood (PfA) SEND Team will be hosting a coffee morning to give parents, carers and young people aged 14-25 with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) the chance to meet those involved in the transition to adulthood.
We have listened to your feedback about the timing of these sessions and have arranged to hold them in the morning during the February half term. We hope this works for parents/carers and young people. We are keen to encourage as many young people as possible to attend so that they can have the opportunity to make informed decisions about their future
The event has been designed to allow the providers and professionals the time to share details of the services they provide. It will give young people, and their parents/carers, the chance to meet the professionals and ask any relevant questions.
Those in attendance will be:
14-25 Team (vocational pathways, Way-2-Work, Careers advice)
Children and Young People Participation Officer
Balance Travel Training
The Preparing for Adulthood Educational Psychologist
Adult Social Care
Kingston: Monday 17 February, 10am-12pm (Star Centre, King Charles Crescent, Surbiton, KT5 8SU) - click here to book online
Richmond: Thursday 20 February, 10am-12pm (Twickenham Training Centre, 53 Grimwood Road, Twickenham, TW1 1BY) - click here to book online
Any questions please call the SEND Team on 020 8547 5872
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'