The Glades Shopping 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 Glades will be showing it’s support in numerous ways:

• All staff will wear purple to be easily identifiable
• A quiet room has been specially created for shoppers
• Music will be turned off in the centre and in retailer stores
• Local organisations including Guide Dogs London and Bromley Dementia Support Hub will be helping to raise awareness in the centre
• Centre teams and retailers to receive additional training in disability awareness and take part in Dementia Friends and sign language sessions
• Art installations to show support and create impact
• Centre team and retailers to undertake additional training in disability awareness, sign language and attend Dementia Friends sessions
• The Glades website at www.theglades.co.uk will be turned purple

The Glades is also proud to offer the following services and facilities all year round:

• 4 hours FREE parking for Blue Badge holders
• Disabled toilets on all shopping levels for people with visible and non-visible disabilities
• Changing Places toilet facilities for visitors with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well people with other physical disabilities
• Centre-run Shopmobility service
• Braille-friendly store guides
• Dementia-friendly and sign language-trained Guest Services team
• Floor announcements in all lifts
• A fully accessible website
• Disabled parking spaces on all levels of the car park with easy access to lifts
• White columns broken up for shoppers with impaired vision

Mark Haynes, director of The Glades, 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 Glades, 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 Mark. “Making simple adjustments to our surroundings opens up new opportunities for those with ‘silent’ disabilities to feel much more at ease 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 Glades.”

Purple Tuesday has been launched by disability organisation Purple, which provides support services to both disabled people and businesses, 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 of Purple, says: “We’re delighted that The Glades 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 Glades provides, please visit www.theglades.co.uk.