Event Date: 09/11/2018 - 09/11/2019
Chantry Centre has announced that it is taking part in Purple Tuesday, the UK’s first-ever national, accessible shopping day, a campaign which has been created to recognise the importance and needs of customers with disabilities.
Purple Tuesday launches on Tuesday 13 November and is the first awareness initiative of its kind for shopping centres and retailers to acknowledge how they currently support people with both visible and non-visible disabilities, and how they can assist even further.
The campaign is not only helping to raise awareness but to also reinforce the message that businesses in the retail sector are fully committed to ensuring an inclusive and enjoyable shopping experience for everyone, each and every day of the year.
To mark Purple Tuesday, the Chantry Centre will be raising awareness of the disability friendly services they offer to Andover Shoppers. The staff are trained in Visual Impairment and General Disability Awareness, with Visual Impairment and General Disability refresher training scheduled for November 2018. The centre also accommodates Unity; previously know as Shop Mobility, which aids independence and freedom for anyone experiencing mobility problems. It is a loan service, enabling customers to hire a walker, wheelchair (manual or powered) or mobility scooter to access shopping or local facilities in Andover Town. They also provide a long weekend or holiday loan service if needed.
Unity is provided by Test Valley Borough Council with easy access from the Bus Station and Multi Storey Car Park.
Test Borough Valley Council have recently started work on a new Changing Places toilet in the current Unity office. The first stage of the project will involve creating a new store for Unity in the Chantry Centre car park, which will free up space for the new facility. Work is expected to be completed in January 2019.
Scope, the national disability charity, has a presence at the Chantry Centre with their retail store and are strong supporters of Purple Tuesday.
“Purple Tuesday is a great initiative and an important reminder to retailers that disabled customers should not be an afterthought.
We recognise that many retailers are making efforts to improve inclusivity, but disabled people still face unnecessary difficulties when shopping, with issues such as poor accessibility and lack of awareness from staff, so it’s great to see so many big names on board trying to address this.”
Steve Cotney said: “Almost 20% of adults in the UK have a disability, 80% of which have an invisible or hidden impairment. This means that an incredible four out of five disabled customers may require some sort of support. For our visitors who experience the world differently, we want to ensure that at the Chantry Centre, we are providing the best customer service and accessibility we can to all members of the community.
“We are continually working with our retailers to look for ways to improve visitors’ experience as it’s hugely important to us that everyone feels comfortable,” continued Steve. “Making simple adjustments to our surroundings opens up new opportunities for those with ‘silent’ disabilities to feel much more comfortable when out in public spaces.
“We are honoured to be part of such an inspiring and thought-provoking campaign, which is really bringing together the community here at the Chantry Centre.
Purple Tuesday has been launched by disability organisation Purple, who provide support services to both disabled people and business, bringing both together with the aim of changing the disability conversation from one of disadvantage and inequality to one of potential and value.
The aim of the campaign - and subsequently its legacy – is to increase awareness of the barriers experienced by disabled people to encourage sustainable changes in business practice that improve customer experience over the long-term.
Mike Adams OBE, CEO, Purple, says: “We’re delighted that the Chantry Centre is supporting the Purple Tuesday campaign to promote better accessibility for disabled shoppers. This is a collaborative campaign that extends far beyond one day, and it’s vital that retail organisations come together to make shopping more pleasurable and efficient for everyone.”
For further information on all the Purple Tuesday activities and disability services the Chantry Centre provides, please visit www.thechantrycentre.comTweet
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