Qui­eter hour at su­per­store to help autis­tic cus­tomers

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Active -

MOR­RISONS South­port is to in­tro­duce a qui­eter hour for cus­tomers who would ben­e­fit from a calmer shop­ping trip.

De­signed to help cus­tomers who strug­gle with mu­sic and other noise as­so­ci­ated with supermarket shop­ping, it will take place ev­ery Satur­day in the Win­ter Gar­dens store at 9-10am.

The Qui­eter Hour ini­tia­tive has been cre­ated with the sup­port of the Na­tional Autis­tic So­ci­ety.

Many peo­ple who are autis­tic or those with autis­tic chil­dren can find shop­ping an anx­ious ex­pe­ri­ence.

Mor­risons car­ried out a trial ear­lier in the year in three of its stores to find out what im­prove­ments can be made and to find a con­ve­nient time each week for the qui­eter hour.

Staff found one in five cus­tomers had a friend or fam­ily mem­ber with autism and many ap­pre­ci­ated the op­tion to shop at that time on a Satur­day.

Dur­ing qui­eter hours the store will dim the lights, turn mu­sic and ra­dios off, avoid mak­ing tan­noy an­nounce­ments, re­duce move­ment of trol­leys and bas­kets, turn check­out beeps and other elec­tri­cal noises down, and place a poster out­side to tell cus­tomers it is the qui­eter hour.

Mor­risons will also work to im­prove aware­ness among col­leagues of the is­sues autis­tic cus­tomers face in store.

Daniel Cadey, from the Na­tional Autis­tic So­ci­ety, said: “Around 700,000 peo­ple are on the autism spec­trum in the UK.

“This means they see, hear and feel the world dif­fer­ently to other peo­ple, of­ten in a more in­tense way.

“Mor­risons’ qui­eter hour is a step in the right di­rec­tion for autis­tic peo­ple who find supermarket shop­ping a real strug­gle.”

Robert Alexan­der at Mor­risons South­port said: “Our ini­tial tri­als showed there is a need for a qui­eter shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence.

“We hope that th­ese changes make a real dif­fer­ence for some of our cus­tomers at our store.” NEW £20m mental health hos­pi­tal is be­ing built in South­port – and the NHS trust wants you to name it.

Cur­rently be­ing built off Scaris­brick New Road and due to open in early 2020, the fa­cil­ity will pro­vide in­pa­tients with sin­gle en­suite bed­rooms, as well as ac­cess to safe in­ner gar­den court­yards, and ther­apy and ac­tiv­ity ar­eas,

An im­pres­sion of how the out­side, and, below, the in­side of the unit will ap­pear

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