The world-renowned toy store has pledged to turn off all music and use of screens for an hour every Monday-Friday and Sunday, from this date onwards.
With the Easter holidays underway, the Glasgow shopping centre is also ensuring there are quiet sessions during its busy events calendar. From 2-3pm each day there will be a quiet hour for all the activities taking place outside Boots which will range from face painting and caricature drawing to Easter arts and crafts.
This is the latest measure from St. Enoch as part of its ongoing commitment to making the centre autism friendly. At the start of this year, the shopping centre launched a dedicated quiet and safe space, a first for the city’s shopping facilities. The quiet space is designed to support autistic people and those with learning disabilities and sensory conditions within a busy shopping environment.
St. Enoch will also be working with their charity partner, Scottish Autism during their character visits, which this Easter includes Paddington Bear. The quiet sessions will be held from 11am to 11.40am and can be booked in advance.
Scottish Autism will also be in-centre from today (Friday 30 March) until Monday 2 April and will be on hand to provide information and advice to shoppers throughout the Easter activities.
As part of the charity’s ongoing work with St. Enoch and in celebration of World Autism Awareness Month (April), Scottish Autism is also hosting a free exhibition ‘Autism in Focus’ from 1 April to 4 May in the centre, opposite Costa. ‘Autism in Focus’ aims to showcase the real picture of autism through 100 photographs taken by autistic people and their families which will be shared alongside their personal story.
Commenting, Anne Ledgerwood, general manager of St. Enoch Centre, said: “Easter is all about spending time with loved ones and it was important to the centre that we offered events that the whole family could spend time enjoying together.
“It is great that Hamleys have pledged to introduce a quiet hour. This decision very much reflects St. Enoch Centre’s and indeed the wider city centre’s plans to make Glasgow more autism friendly.
“We’re looking forward to continuing our support with our charity partner, Scottish Autism and think the exhibition will be a wonderful opportunity to help raise awareness and understanding of autism and the fantastic work the charity does.”
Grant Yuill, senior marketing manager of Hamleys, added: “At Hamleys we want shoppers to enjoy the fun experience toys bring and are thrilled to announce the launch of our quiet hour in support of the wider initiatives from St. Enoch and Glasgow City Centre.”
Commenting, Karen Wilson, Fundraising Manager at Scottish Autism, said: “We’re delighted to be working with the St. Enoch Centre and their partners to introduce new initiatives and programmes to support autistic people and their families. While the condition impacts individuals in different ways, many autistic people are often deterred from going into a busy shopping centre as the bright lights, smells and sounds can often prove to be overwhelming.
“The introduction of the quiet hour by Hamleys and the quiet sessions during the Easter holidays are welcome developments which can make for a more relaxed shopping experience for autistic people. It also builds on St Enoch Centre’s credentials as an autism-friendly shopping centre following the opening of its quiet room earlier this year and its investment into autism awareness staff training.”
St. Enoch Centre has been working closely with Glasgow City Council in support of its plans to make Glasgow the first autism-friendly city in the UK.
For further information on the Easter events planned, please visit www.st-enoch.com
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