express is an independent user led organisation based in the borough of Kingston upon Thames. Our aim is to support autistic people and their families, and promote awareness and acceptance in the community. We are a CIC, which is a community interest company meaning that we operate as a 'not for profit' organisation.
express was founded in 2012 by Annette Williams and Tracey Gaggiotti. Both have autistic family members, and both were frustrated at the lack of services provided.
"We wanted to create a social environment where autistic people and their families would feel welcomed and secure within the local community", explains Annette.
"We wanted to provide a service that would be used, supported and enjoyed
by the community as a whole".
In the last ten years express has grown substantially, and has supported 100s of families in many different ways. From dramatherapy to dragon boat racing, express have done it!
Meet The Team
Annette Williams BCAe FCCA
Director and Co-Founder
Annette's background is in Finance. She is a Fellow Chartered Certified Accountant, FCCA. Annette has two children, her youngest child was diagnosed autistic at 15 months old, later with hypermobility, SPD and ADHD. Annette was a parent governor at The Rise School and involved in securing Spring School for Kingston.
Tracey Gaggiotti BCAe
Director and Co-Founder
Tracey's background is in Insurance Claims Management, both in the public and private sector. Tracey has been running a social skills group for young autistic children since 2005. Tracey has two children and is the sibling of an autistic brother with SLD.
Meet the team who manage our creative arts therapy, counselling service, peer support groups and our clubs. They are all supported by therapists, counsellors and volunteers.
We couldn't do it without them!
Alycia is a qualified Drama Therapist and registered Therapist with the HCPC.
Alycia started with Express as a newly qualified therapist and now runs our therapy service.
Alycia has experience in running both group and 1:1 therapy sessions. She is also our lead therapist for CAMHs referrals.
Kate is a registered member of BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) and along side her work with Express she runs her own private practice. Before becoming a counsellor she worked as a support worker with young adults with additional needs, then as an assistant social worker in Adult Social Care and as an IMCA (Independent Mental Capacity Advocate).
Our Advisory Panel is made up of our Service Leads, colleagues, young autistic people, parents, and professionals. They meet regularly, donate their time freely and their input is invaluable in shaping the work we do.
Anna is a Counsellor and Psychotherapist and a registered member of the BACP.
Anna set up and managed our Counselling service for a number of years. She now runs her own private practice and continues to see Express clients.
Anna has a daughter and a son. Her son was diagnosed autistic aged 3.
Jen is a qualified Drama Therapist and registered Therapist with the HCPC.
Jen managed our Therapy service for a number of years alongside running our groups and 1:1 therapy sessions.
Jen now works primarily on long term 1:1 specialist packages as well as running her private practice.
Kate's background is in higher education.
She has two children one of which was diagnosed autistic aged 7.
Kate loves knitting and sewing for relaxation.
Max is autistic and has experience working with autistic children, supporting them in group settings.
Max is very keen to support Express.