Support for supermarket's new scheme to help those with autism - but hopes other businesses could do more
A major supermarket’s new ‘Quieter Hours’ scheme has been given the thumbs-up by an autistic man in Spalding – but he says he’d like to see more on offer for people with autism.
Callum Brazzo, who writes a weekly column for our sister paper the Lincolnshire Free Press, said the initiative by Morrisons, with the support of the National Autistic Society, was a good thing.
“I have been harsh about the National Autistic Society in the past but this is one of the better things they have done,” he said.
Morrisons in Pinchbeck is among the supermarket’s entire 493 stores running ‘Quieter Hours’ each Saturday from 9-10am, which started on Saturday, July 21.
Customers experience quieter checkout beeps, dimmer lights and no music or tannoy announcements during the hour.
Callum added: “It could also be useful for other companies but is it enough to single out a few hours or once a day? If they have it every day you need more people (staff) to have that opportunity.
“It’s like world autistic days with lots of pomp, there are deeper questions to ask. There is stuff you can do now, today.”
The project comes after a trial by Morrisons in three of its stores – in Lincoln, Woking and Gainsborough.
It has been designed to help all customers who would benefit from a calmer shopping trip.
It will also improve awareness amongst colleagues of the issues autistic customers face in store.
A poster will be placed outside the supermarket during the ‘Quieter Hours’ to inform customers.
Spalding’s South Holland Centre also currently supports those on the autism spectrum with some ‘relaxed’ cinema screenings, with lower sound levels and low lights in the auditorium.