Welwyn Garden City supermarket hushes up for autism

PUBLISHED: 10:10 18 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:15 18 July 2018




A supermarket in Welwyn Garden City is introducing a ‘quieter hour’ to ease the experience of shoppers who struggle with loud noise.

Between 9am and 10am at Morrisons in Black Fan Road every Saturday, the supermarket will be a calmer place to be.

Designed to help customers who struggle with music and other noise associated with supermarket shopping, the initiative has been created with the support of the National Autistic Society.

Many people who are autistic, or those with children with autism, can find shopping in a supermarket an anxious experience.

During a trial in three of its stores earlier this year, Morrisons found that one in five of the shoppers they surveyed has a friend or family member with autism.

During the quieter hour, the shop will dim the lights, turn music off, reduce the movement of trolleys and baskets, will turn down checkout beeps and other electrical noises, and will avoid making tannoy announcements.

A poster will inform shoppers at the door when it’s quieter hour.

Morrisons will also work to improve awareness amongst colleagues of the issues autistic customers face in store.

Daniel Cadey from the National Autistic Society said: “Around 700,000 people are on the autism spectrum in the UK.

“This means they see, hear and feel the world differently to other people, often in a more intense way.

“Morrisons ‘Quieter Hour’ is a step in the right direction for autistic people who find supermarket shopping a real struggle.”

David Turvey at Morrisons Welwyn Garden City said: “Our initial trials showed there is a need for a quieter shopping experience.

“We hope that these changes make a real difference for some of our customers at our store.”

For further information, visit: https://my.morrisons.com/blog/community/quieter-hour/

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Welwyn Hatfield Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Welwyn Hatfield Times