Entertainer toy store founder urges Milton Keynes shops to be more autism friendly

The founder of The Entertainer toy store is urging shops all over Milton Keynes to be more welcoming to people with autism.

Gary Grant has teamed up with The National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour campaign to stress the importance of creating "autism friendly environments."

Fun time for everyone at The Entertainer, not its founder wants others to follow its lead

Fun time for everyone at The Entertainer, not its founder wants others to follow its lead

Next week the National Autistic Society launches its Autism Hour campaign and Gary is urging local retailers to join.

The dedicated daily hours are designed to show businesses the simple steps that can be taken towards improving shopping experiences for those who struggle to filter out sounds, smells, sights and information, often making public places overwhelming.

Gary said: "Joining the Autism Hour is the absolute minimum retailers should be doing to support autistic people across the country.

"Simple yet effective changes can make a huge impact in creating a safe and welcoming environment for autistic people, such as turning off music and reducing bright lighting wherever possible. It’s important that retailers support autistic people and their families."

All Entertainer stores now run a Quiet Hour during their first hour of opening every Saturday, and the first hour of opening every day in the school holidays.

Tom Purser, head of campaigns at the National Autistic Society, said: “The Entertainer are a fantastic example of a retail store which has taken great strides in becoming autism friendly.

"Autistic people represent a huge part of our society – around one in 100 people in the UK. They and their families want to have the opportunity to go to the shops, just like anyone else. But many find the crowds, noise and unpredictability of our high streets completely overwhelming and end up avoiding them altogether."

Find out more about the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour and how to get involved by visiting the website.