Merseyway Shopping centre will introduce a ‘quiet hour’ every day for one week from October 6th to make shopping more autism-friendly.
Merseyway Shopping Centre has signed up to take part in this month’s Autism Hour – a national campaign run by the National Autistic Society – which encourages businesses to take simple steps for 60 minutes that lead to a more autism-friendly world.
More than 8,000 shops and businesses have signed up to take part in the campaign which runs from Saturday 6th October to Saturday 13th October, with Merseyway pledging to turn down the music and lighting at the centre for an hour every day at 9am.
Merseyway is also encouraging its retailers to take part to make the centre as autism-friendly as possible.
Autism Hour is part of the National Autistic Society’s Too Much Information campaign which aims to to challenge the myths, misconceptions and stereotypes that contribute to 79% of autistic people feeling socially isolated and 64% of autistic people avoiding going shopping.
More than 1 in 100 of the population have been diagnosed with autism and while over 99% of people have heard of autism, only 16% of autistic people feel the public understand them.
Brendan Webb, Centre Manager at Merseyway said:
“A shopping centre can be an overwhelming place for those with autism but by making adjustments to noise levels and lighting during our dedicated Autism Hours we hope to provide a calmer space to shop. Autism Hour is an incredibly important campaign in raising public awareness of autism and we’re urging as many stores and businesses within the centre to show their support.”
For more information on Autism Hour visit https://www.autism.org.uk/get-involved/tmi/autism-hour/about.aspx.