Autism East Midlands partner with intu centres in Nottingham to create Autism friendly services, which includes in-depth staff training across both shopping centres. An autism-friendly guide has been developed, autism awareness help cards and wrist bands will be displayed at intu customer service desks and the appointed intu autism awareness centre champions will be available to assist customers.
All autism-friendly services will officially launch across both intu Victoria Centre and intu Broadmarsh from Thursday 30th March 2017 in celebration of Autism Awareness Week 2017 (27 March–2 April 2017)
In October last year, Autism East Midlands began to provide expert training on autism awareness and undertaking an environmental audit of both intu Victoria Centre and intu Broadmarsh. The Autism Awareness staff training element commenced in January 2017 at both shopping centres.
One element of this training included more in-depth training for selected team members who are appointed ‘autism awareness centre champions’. This aims to provide the selected team members with advanced knowledge and skills to support and signpost individuals with autism attending their centres. To date, Autism East Midlands have trained 114 members of the intu team in Nottingham in Autism Awareness and are looking forward to the continued partnership.
Mair Dyer, Director of Adult Services at Autism East Midlands commented:
Working with intu has been a very rewarding experience. The commitment shown by intu to increase their understanding of the needs of autistic visitors has resulted in a range of additional support services launched today. These will be able to be provided with both discretion and with the recognition that everyone is an individual with individual requirements. The autism friendly guide and cards have been developed collaboratively with autistic people who use our services and who live within the Nottingham Area. This launch is an important beginning of an ongoing programme of development within all three East Midlands centres and we look forward to our continued relationship with intu, working together to improve accessibility and autism awareness for autistic people and their families.
Nigel Wheatley, General Manager for intu in Nottingham said:
It’s really important that our centres are comfortable environments for all of our customers. Our valuable partnership with Autism East Midlands has helped us to raise awareness of autism within our teams and is enabling us to continuously develop our centre environments for everyone.