intu Lakeside is joining retail businesses across the nation in marking Purple Tuesday, the UK’s first accessible shopping day.
Tuesday 13 November 2018 will see intu’s popular retail and leisure destinations across the UK join the campaign to promote awareness by highlighting the difficulties facing disabled shoppers and the measures that can be put in place to overcome them.
To show support for Purple Tuesday intu Lakeside will be handing out small gifts throughout the day to those that use the centre’s shop mobility centre, where wheelchairs and other mobility options are available free of charge.
intu Lakeside will also enable parents and carers of disabled children that hold Rainbow Cards to park in the centre’s disabled bays as part of a new, long term initiative. The centre has also recently introduced a regular ‘quiet hour’, which takes place the first Monday of every month, from 4pm-5pm. In conjunction with this, autism guides are available to help autistic customers and their families plan a visit to the centre. These can be collected from the customer services lounge, customer service desks or downloaded from intu Lakeside’s website.
Endorsed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Purple Tuesday is a call-to-action for retail businesses to make shopping more accessible for disabled customers – not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s good for business. Shoppers are also encouraged to show their support, by visiting their local shopping centre or high street on the day.
intu is backing the campaign as part of ongoing work to create accessible shopping and leisure destinations. This includes introducing specialist training for staff to support those with autism, blindness and dementia and working with mental health foundation Blurt to encourage greater awareness around mental health conditions.
Howard Oldstein, Regional Centre Director at intu Lakeside, said: “We are focused on creating great experiences for our customers and ensuring intu shopping centres are accessible destinations for all. We do this by working closely with our customers and important organisations like Purple to find new and innovative ways to improve our physical spaces, customer service and support for employees.”
The initiative also enjoys support from Sarah Newton, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, who will attend the purple lighting-up of key London landmarks on the day.
Beyond the 13th November awareness day, Purple will work alongside organisations to support implementation of commitments made, including customer service training and providing support to increase accessibility of websites and other online technology. Wider support includes physical access audits, improved signage and increasing the involvement of disabled mystery shoppers.
Mike Adams, CEO, Purple, said: “We’re delighted that intu 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.”
Resources for organisations and individuals wishing to get involved with Purple Tuesday are available for download at purpletuesday.org.uk.