Tameside’s Autism Hour, 05 – 12 October 2019: Ashton Review of Shops Extra

Which Tameside shops are taking part in the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour?

If you have an autism spectrum condition, a trip to the shops can be a daunting prospect. One issue could be the bright lights, another could be the background noise. In a supermarket, even the sheer variety of items can be overloading.

As for the queues and the crowds, say no more… This eejit in his formative years used to squeal his way through department stores. Shoppers thought I was being mistreated when it was the bustle of John Moores’ most famous retail concern that drove me nuts. The background noise in Ashton’s Pound Bakery is enough to put me off from being a regular customer (the one in Hyde isn’t as bad for that).

Autie-Friendly shopping

An Autism Hour isn’t only good for shoppers with autism spectrum conditions. It is good for the vibrancy of our town centres. Instead of going straight to our favourite online retailer (or the online portal of your favourite supermarket), you may be inclined to visit other shops in the town centre.

Using Ashton-under-Lyne for example, Home Bargains in Ladysmith Shopping Centre will be having seven autism hours a week. If you go to Home Bargains for example, you may feel the need to make an impulse purchase at another shop. You might fancy fish and chips at the Gold Medal Chippy nearby, or take a short walk to Ashton Market.

If Cineworld on Ashton Moss has autism friendly screenings, why can’t we have more autism friendly shopping hours? Perhaps they could be the norm. Some superstore chains already have them.

According to the National Autistic Society’s website, participating businesses will be able to:

  • Raise awareness of autism spectrum conditions to members of staff and customers;
  • Reduce background noise, music and extraneous tannoy announcements;
  • Dim the lights to a more comfortable level;
  • Offer a quiet space for customers;
  • Give clear information about where things are in store;
  • Allow people with autism spectrum conditions to skip queues;
  • Reduce harsh smells.

If you have an autism spectrum condition yourself, or know somebody else who has one, this episode of Paper Owl Films’ Pablo may strike a chord. In this episode, co-written by Sumita Majumdar and Andrew Brenner, we see how Pablo and the Book Animals try to make sense of the Super Place.

Autie-Friendly Shopping hours in Tameside

Ashton-under-Lyne

  • Barnardo’s, Ashton Retail Park, Wellington Road: all day Sunday (06 October 2019);
  • Barnardo’s, Mossley Road: all day Sunday (06 October 2019);
  • CeX, Staveleigh Way, Ladysmith Shopping Centre: 9am to 10am (05, 07 – 12 October 2019) and 10am to 11am (06 October 2019);
  • Halifax, Arcades Shopping Centre: 3pm to 4pm (08 October 2019);
  • Home Bargains, Staveleigh Way, Ladysmith Shopping Centre: 9am to 10am (05 and 12 October 2019), 3pm to 4pm (06 October 2019) and 4pm to 5pm (07 – 11 October 2019);
  • IKEA, Wellington Road: 10am to 11am (09 October 2019);
  • Lloyds Bank, Old Street: 3pm to 4pm (08 October 2019);
  • Sainsburys, Ashton Moss off Lord Sheldon Way: 9am to 10am (09 October 2019);
  • Shoe Zone, Warrington Street: 9am to 10am (05 to 12 October 2019);
  • Superdrug, Arcades Shopping Centre: 10am to 11 am (12 October 2019);
  • TESCO Express, Oldham Road: 9am to 10am (05 and 12 October 2019);
  • TESCO Express, Mossley Road: 9am to 10am (05 and 12 October 2019).

Audenshaw

  • Co-op, Stamford Road: 11am to 12 midday (12 October 2019);
  • Home Bargains, Snipe Retail Park, Manchester Road: 9am to 10am (05 and 12 October 2019), 3pm to 4pm (06 October 2019) and 4pm to 5pm (07 – 11 October 2019).

Denton

  • Barnardo’s, Crown Point North, Worthington Way: all day Sunday (06 October 2019);
  • Barnardo’s, Stockport Road: all day Sunday (06 October 2019);
  • Clarks, Crown Point North, Worthington Way: 10.30am to 11.30am on Sunday (06 October 2019), 9.30am to 10.30am on 05 October 2019, then 07 – 12 October 2019;
  • Halifax, Manchester Road: 3pm to 4pm (08 October 2019);
  • Morrisons, Saxon Street: 9am to 10am (05 and 12 October 2019);
  • Sainsburys, Oldham Street: 9am to 10am (09 October 2019);
  • TESCO Express, Mancunian Road, Haughton Green: 9am to 10am (05 and 12 October 2019).

Droylsden

  • Barnardo’s, Droylsden Shopping Centre: all day Sunday (06 October 2019);
  • TESCO, Manchester Road: 9am to 10am (05 and 12 October 2019).

Dukinfield

  • Co-op, Fir Tree Lane: 11am to 12 midday (12 October 2019);
  • Morrisons, 94 Foundry Street: 9am to 10am (05 and 12 October 2019).

Hyde

  • Co-op, Talbot Road, Newton: 11am to 12 midday (12 October 2019);
  • Halifax, Market Place: 3pm to 4pm (08 October 2019);
  • Lloyds Bank, Clarendon Mall: 3pm to 4pm (08 October 2019);
  • Morrisons, Mottram Road: 9am to 10am (05 and 12 October 2019).
  • Shoe Zone, Clarendon Mall: 9am to 10am (05 to 12 October 2019);
  • Superdrug, Clarendon Mall: 10am to 11 am (12 October 2019);
  • TESCO Express, Stockport Road, Gee Cross: 9am to 10am (05 and 12 October 2019).

Mossley

  • Co-op, Arundel Street: 11am to 12 midday (12 October 2019);

Mottram-in-Longdendale

  • TESCO Extra, Stockport Road, Hattersley: 9am to 10am (05 and 12 October 2019).

Stalybridge

  • TESCO, Trinity Street: 9am to 10am (05 and 12 October 2019).

Before I go…

Will you be nipping to the Co-op during their Autism Hour? Would one Autism Hour a week – or several more in your favourite store – be a greater help? Feel free to comment.

One more thing: if you enjoyed this episode of Pablo in our post, the second series begins on CBeebies on the 07 October 2019 at 2.35pm. Just the thing to watch over some tea and biscuits after an Autism Hour big shop. My co-written episode, entitled Up in the Clouds will be aired on the 16 October 2019, again at 2.35pm.

S.V., 04 October 2019.

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