Touchwood is introducing a weekly ‘quiet hour’ in centre to help create a calm and enjoyable shopping experience for guests with autism.
Launching on Saturday 27th April, the ‘quiet hour’ will take place each week between 9am and 10am. Lights in all main areas of the centre will be dimmed, music turned off and tannoy announcements kept to a minimum to assist guests who prefer a calmer shopping environment.
The Touchwood team has worked closely with Autism West Midlands to launch the scheme, which is designed to help those who struggle in busy or loud environments. The new weekly initiative follows on from trials of previous successful ‘quiet hours’, as well as the centre’s participation in Purple Tuesday, to improve accessibility and ensure that Touchwood is open for all.
Tony Elvin, General Manager at Touchwood, comments: “We understand that noise and large public spaces can sometimes be stressful and overwhelming for some of our guests. The aim of the ‘quiet hour’ is to provide a break from the usual busy environment, and ensure we are open and accessible to all throughout the year. We are asking our retailers to support the activity in-store where possible so that guests can enjoy a rich and varied shopping experience. We will continue to assess how we can help each and every one of our guests, and we value any feedback.”
Touchwood currently provides a number of additional accessible facilities, including its Shopmobility service offering the hire of scooters and wheelchairs free of charge.