Being autism friendly is top of the shopping list

Being autism friendly is top of the shopping list for Teesside Park where owners British Land have been working with stores and Daisy Chain to raise awareness.

As part of World Autism Awareness Week (April 1-7), Tees charity Daisy Chain is keen to raise awareness of how difficult some everyday activities can prove to be but how with training and understanding many businesses and services can make a huge difference to the lives of families affected by autism.

Teesside Park has already introduced an Autism Hour every week (Saturday mornings 9am – 10am) and Daisy Chain has delivered training sessions to the staff at the Management Centre as well as stores on the site.

Laura Knott, customer service adviser at Teesside Park’s management centre, said: ‘We are very passionate about our customer service at Teesside Park.

“We introduced the weekly Autism Hour back in November 2017. We wanted to train in autism awareness with Daisy Chain because they are the local experts.

“We felt that Daisy Chain knows Teesside Park and our stores and so would be best placed to help us improve the shopping experience for people on the autistic spectrum and their families.”

Dean Parker, Schuh store manager, added: “Autism is such a wide spectrum, you do need to have an understanding of how it may affect different people and children especially when they are having shoes fitted and it may be a sensory experience they find hard to cope with.”

Other stores at Teesside Park which have undergone the training include Costa, Next and O2 as well as Charles Clinkard which is this year sponsoring the annual special World Autism Awareness activities day for families affected by autism at Daisy Chain.

Businesses and organisations can contact Daisy Chain for information on autism awareness and training on 01642 531248.