Lakeside Village gets ready for ‘quiet hour’ for shoppers with autism

Doncaster’s Lakeside Village is taking part in this year’s Autism Hour to make shopping a more accessible and less stressful experience for people with autism.

Visitors to the centre on Monday October 8 will be welcomed to a quieter environment as Lakeside Village joins in The National Autistic Societies, Autism Hour.

David Aunins, centre manager at Lakeside Village, said: “This is an important annual national event and we are proud to be joining in again this year.

“On Monday between 10am and 11am we’ll be turning down music and other noise such as tannoy announcements which can be a common barrier to autistic people accessing shops.

“We will also be dimming the lights as fluorescent strip lighting, can be overwhelming for autistic people.

“It is important to us that our shoppers and their family members feel comfortable when they visit the centre and we have a quiet room available for anyone who needs to step away from the hustle

bustle of the shopping environment.”

During the day visitors will be able to talk to members of the Hesley Group who will be onsite to provide information to customers and signpost them to support as well as offering training to any store staff who want to learn more.

“Last year customers made pledges after learning more about autism and we’ll be encouraging people to do the same this year,” David added.

“We have members of our team who have close personal experience of family members with autism and we will be talking to them to make sure that we implement changes to make shopping as stress-free as possible for people with autism and families with autistic children.” added David.

Lakeside Village will be participating in Autism Hour from 10am and the Hesley Group team will be onsite all day.

Visit www.autism.org.uk for details.