We couldn’t help but notice supermarket giant Morrisons have introduced Quieter Hour on Saturdays from 9am in their stores across the UK. This initiative is especially for children and adults with autism and who would most benefit from a quieter shopping environment.


What happens during Quieter Hour?

Stores will dim lights, turn music off, avoid using the tannoy announcements and turn check-out beeps down. Working with the National Autistic Society (NAS), Morrison’s staff will have additional training on the condition to help make the shopping experience a positive one.

These small changes can make a huge difference. Many families find the whole shopping experience really stressful and difficult to manage. The bright lights and loud noises can be overwhelming for many people with autism. The Quieter Hour will encourage a calmer, safe time when shoppers can feel people around them will understand their condition and not judge them. Shopping during this time would take away the anxiety, allow for more time for packing and paying and generally build an experience everyone can enjoy.


What is Autism?

Autism affects how a child or adult communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them. Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently with some autistic people say the world feels overwhelming and this can cause them considerable anxiety. The National Autistic Society is keen to help change this - starting with one hour in October.


Autism Hour

More retailers are being encouraged to take part in making their stores Autism friendly. From 6 October – 13 October the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour will be introduced across the UK. Last year saw more than 5,000 Autism Hours being held by retailers wanting to make a difference and 2018 will be even bigger!

If you work in a store, leisure facility, café or restaurant, your organisation could benefit with supporting people affected by autism. Encourage them to sign up to the NAS campaign in time for October. They’ll get advice and information on how to make their store autism friendly and their details will be shared with potential shoppers to encourage them to visit during the week.

It’s a winner for everyone involved – you heard it here first!