McArthurGlen Designer Outlet East Midlands Introduces Autism Friendly Shopping Hours

McArthurGlen Designer Outlet East Midlands has announced The Riley Foundation as its nominated charity partner for 2020.

The Riley Foundation is a local charitable organisation offering the public, schools and other organisations access to state-of-the-art sensory equipment for children and adults with special educational needs.

In support of the Nottingham-based charity, the centre has introduced autism-friendly shopping hours. Until October, from 4pm-8pm on the last Tuesday of every month, the centre will strive to create a calmer, less overwhelming experience for guests.

This new initiative will include switching off any music within the mall and the presence of the charity’s state-of-the-art multisensory bus which will be stationed within the car park. The foundation has found the bus can be of great therapeutic value for people with autism and other disabilities. In addition, centre staff have been given further training to support guests who will be visiting during this time.

David Jackson, Centre Manager, McArthurGlen Designer Outlet East Midlands comments: “We are thrilled to be introducing autism friendly shopping hours in partnership with our charity of the year, The Riley Foundation. We are keen to ensure that the centre is accessible and welcoming for all guests and, as such, we will be creating a calmer environment for all shoppers by turning off our music every last Tuesday of the month. This new initiative has been put in place to ease sensory overload and ensure our guests have a more comfortable and inclusive shopping experience.”

Melanie Watson, Chief Executive Officer, The Riley Foundation adds:
“We are delighted to be working in partnership with McArthurGlen Designer Outlet East Midlands throughout this year, helping to make autism friendly shopping experiences accessible for even more people, while also creating the opportunity for shoppers to access our state-of-the-art facility.”

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