The Avenue Newton Mearns goes quiet for National Autism Hour

The Avenue Shopping Centre in Newton Mearns goes quiet this October for the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour campaign.

This year the annual campaign begins on October 5 (tomorrow) running until October 12 and encourages highstreet shops and businesses to hold Autism Hours throughout the week.

The Avenue is going a step further and will take simple steps to create a more autism-friendly environment throughout the whole autism awareness week by turning off mall music all day every day and only using minimal lighting in the mall from Saturday 5th until Saturday 12th October inclusive.

There are around 700,000 autistic people in the UK, as well as three million family members and carers. Autistic people often find social and public situations difficult and can struggle to filter out the sounds, smells, sights and information they experience, which can make busy public places, like shops, overwhelming.

Like anyone else, autistic people and their families want to have the option of going to shops, whether to pick up the weekly shopping, buy a coffee or browse with a friend. Yet, National Autistic Society surveys suggest that 64% of autistic people avoid the shops.

Michelle McCabe, Centre Manager at The Avenue said: “The Avenue already holds a daily Quiet Hour between 9am and 10am and has had excellent customer feedback, not only from those who have Autism but from elderly shoppers or people who have other types of disabilities and generally need a calmer atmosphere.”

“To show our support for the Autism Hour campaign this year we are going even further and implementing changes for the duration of the awareness week to support any shoppers who struggle with the hustle, bustle and noise that a busy shopping centre can generate to ensure that we give them an all-round easier shopping experience.”

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