The family-owned high street toy retailer, The Entertainer is partnering with the UK charity, the National Autistic Society to support World Autism Awareness Week which takes place this week (April 1st to 7th).
Over the course of the week, The Entertainer’s Quiet Hour will run each morning for the first hour of opening in all 163 of its stores across the UK, where music will be switched off and noisy product demonstrations removed to help create a calming and less daunting environment for children with autism.
A new sensory table will also be introduced to stores featuring a variety of Ready Steady Dough lines for children to play, build and create during Quiet Hour.
In addition, on Saturday, April 6th, The Entertainer will be hosting The Big Create, a colouring-in and dough creating session taking place in all stores between 12-4pm. Families will be encouraged to share their creations on social media using #TheBigCreate.
Ten per cent of all profits of Ready Steady Dough lines sold both in store and online at TheToyShop.com during World Autism Awareness Week will be donated to the NAS.
Gary Grant, founder and executive chairman of The Entertainer, said: “We always strive to make our stores a happy place for people to visit and are continually exploring new ways in which we can make The Entertainer a more comfortable place for autistic children.
“We hope families enjoy visiting their local store during World Autism Awareness Week and we look forward to seeing the creative masterpieces children make during The Big Create.”
Tom Purser, head of campaigns and public engagement at the National Autistic Society, added: “We are delighted that The Entertainer is putting the needs of their autistic customers first by hosting quiet hours in all 163 of their stores during World Autism Awareness Week and working towards achieving our Autism Friendly Award.”
Purser has praised the efforts of The Entertainer, but has urged more companies to follow its example in helping the 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK, many of whom feel isolated and unable to leave the house due to bing overloaded with bright lights and loud noises when they do.
He added: “We know that it’s often the smallest changes that make the biggest difference to autistic people’s lives. If more retailers made these changes then we would be a little closer to making a world that works for autistic people.”