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Asda Store Manager goes above and beyond to help out its autistic and disabled shoppers

The Asda Living store at Cheetham Hill, Manchester, is pioneering a special disability-friendly hour for local people who feel intimidated or stressed by noise and disturbance.

The “Quiet Hour” will see the store open an hour early without many electronic distractions, including escalators, music and display TVs, whilst not using the tannoy for any announcements. All of this will ensure there are no disruptions and to make the shop perfect for people with autism who are sometimes troubled by loud noises.

Local autism groups and families can trial the ‘Quiet Hour’ on Saturday 07 May at 8am, where the store colleagues will be on hand to greet customers with a map of the store.

The event was the brainchild of General Store Manager, Simon Lea, who decided to introduce it after seeing a boy with autism struggling to cope on the shop floor a fortnight ago.

Simon said: “Following the incident, I’ve been speaking with colleagues and customers about how we can help shoppers with autism or disabilities. I suffered for many years with anxiety and I used to absolutely hate going into busy stores. If we can make a few small changes to give these customers a better shopping experience and make them comfortable then I know the store will be a better place to shop for everyone.”

Last week, I posted on Facebook about the idea of a ‘quiet hour’ and the reaction was absolutely fantastic, people from across the country were responding saying what a great idea this was.