@drakecircusplym retailers to support National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour

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Monday, Oct 2, 10.00-11.00

Over 44 top high street brands are to take part in Autism Hour at Drake Circus in Plymouth on October 2.
Businesses and shops in the South West’s leading shopping centre are to follow National Autistic Society (NAS) Autism Hour guidelines and take simple steps for 60 minutes that could lead to a more autism-friendly world.
Retailers, including River Island, JD Sports and Next will dim lights and mute store music where possible to raise awareness and show support for those who live with autism. All participating stores will also brief their teams on the day, delivering key information to help spread awareness regarding Autism, and how to support those who live with the conditions.
Autism Hour has been developed in response to research from NAS which has revealed that shopping can be a challenge for autistic people. “For autistic people, the world can seem full of too much information – and too little understanding. That’s why 64% of autistic people and their families avoid even going out to the shops. Shops can be too loud, glaringly bright and overwhelming for autistic people,” says NAS.
Matt, father to Isaac who was diagnosed with autism at the age of three, says, “Noise, lighting and crowds are all triggers for Isaac so either we avoid shops altogether or we have to put in a great deal of preparation to ensure Isaac doesn’t become overwhelmed.”
Add to this a public that doesn’t always understand autism and an everyday activity like going to the shops can become impossible for autistic people and their families. The result is 79% of autistic people feeling socially isolated.
“We’re delighted our retailers are supporting Autism Hour in this way,” said Greg Lumley, Centre Director, Drake Circus. “Drake Circus aims to be a place that people prefer and we are proud of our work to raise awareness of the different needs of the local community.”
A spokesman for NAS said, “Thanks so much for signing up and participating in our Autism Hour event! That’s fantastic news about all your retailers too, it’s great to see so much support for our event.”
www.drakecircus.com @drakecircusplym
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