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NewRiver Shopping Centres go quiet in support of Autism Hour 2017

20th September 2017

NewRiver, the UK’s largest community and convenience focused property investor/shopping centre owner will be supporting The National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour from 2nd of October where shops and services across all 33 UK wide shopping centres will take 60 minutes to provide shoppers with autism a break from the overload of ‘too much information’.

As part of the National Autistic Society’s Too Much Information campaign, in the week of 2 October, our stores will turn down the music and other noise and dim the lights where possible in a bid to show support to the millions of shoppers who suffer from autism or have a family member who has Autism and perhaps finds the busy shopping environment too much sometimes. We will also have a dedicated sensory play area for children and tombola.

According to the NAS 64% of autistic people and their families avoid even going out to the shops. Shops can be too loud, glaringly bright and overwhelming for autistic people as they can tend to have all senses firing information all at once with no filter making the average shopping trip daunting.

Taking these simple measures will help shoppers with Autism by:

Turning down music and other noise can help those with autism overcome the barrier which overwhelming noise can create when visiting shops. Where possible in store tannoy announcements and other controllable noise will be reduced as well as store and mall music.
Strip lighting and bright lights can be too bright for shoppers with autism and where possible, whilst maintaining a safe environment, lights will be dimmed or switched off

NewRiver will be taking this opportunity to share information with employees and stores regarding Autism Awareness to further cement the commitment to supporting all shoppers to ensure a positive experience is had by all.

Donna Callander, Shopping Centre Marketing Manager said “having recently launched our Kids Club across all 33 shopping centres, we vowed to ensure that the entire family unit from baby up to grandmother and everyone in between has a positive experience when visiting our centres and by taking part in Autism Hour we are giving a little bit of support to shoppers who have autism as well as their friends and family and educating our staff and store teams at the same time.

A few of our centres such as The Avenue in Glasgow already do Quiet Hours regularly through the week and have had excellent customer feedback, not only from those who have Autism but from elderly shoppers or people who have other types of disabilities and generally need a calmer atmosphere. We therefore are looking at how we can apply this across all shopping centres”

Centre Manager Maria Kamper said: “We have 30 stores who will be turning off their music and dimming their lights on 2nd October at 2.30pm to show our support to any shoppers who struggle with the hustle, bustle and noise that a busy shopping centre can generate to ensure that we give them an all-round easier shopping experience.”

To find out more about Autism Hour, join our Kids Club where you will find receive special offers and discounts for the whole family, find out more information about upcoming events and promotions and hear all about any other customer initiatives that we are supporting throughout the year at www.nrrkidsclub.co.uk/Prospect/index.html

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