• Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

Darlington making Strides to become an Autism Friendly Town

MORE retailers have come on board as the second Quiet Hour shopping gets set to take place in Darlington on Sunday 4 March between 10.30 and 11.30am. New venues on board include Laura Ashley, Vue Cinema and Mangobean. Boots on Northgate has also agreed to take part, not just on the monthly Quiet Hour Sundays, but will now host a quiet hour of shopping every Sunday morning.

During Quiet Hour, shops and other venues will be turning off their music and children’s rides to help create a calmer and more relaxed atmosphere. These changes will help those who need quieter and calmer surroundings, including elderly shoppers or people who have other types of disabilities such as autism and dementia.

The Quiet Hour has proved so popular with shoppers and retailers that many venues are now working with North East Autism Society to promote autism training to their staff. Alongside existing Dementia Friendly training, this will mean that Darlington can offer those with extra needs a helping hand to enjoy a safe and comfortable shopping and visitor experience.

Kerrie Highcock from North East Autism Society said:

“It is fantastic to be involved with Quiet Hour. As an autism organisation we know how difficult it can be for individuals with autism and their families to go shopping.

“It can be something most people take for granted but, for many of our families, shopping can be a massive challenge. We will work with town centre outlets to help create inclusive environments as well as providing training for staff.  We see the Quiet Hour as just the start of an exciting joint working opportunity, to help make a difference to families and individuals all across the region.”

Other retailers and venues taking part in the next Quiet Hour include: Wilko, Boyes, Imperial Express, Guru Boutique,  Queen Street and Cornmill Shopping Centres, Mercure Darlington Kings Head Hotel, Marks and Spencer, House of Fraser (Binns)* and The Dolphin Centre alongside a number of independent retailers and services including Origins Home and Origins Coffee Bar* and The Keys.

By admin