Middleton Grange supports national initiative, Purple Tuesday
Middleton Grange Shopping Centre is celebrating this year’s UK flagship accessibility shopping day, Purple Tuesday, by teaming up with internationally renowned mental health poet James McInerney.
Launching on Tuesday 12 November, the initiative will see a selection of James’ work on display around the centre, all of which has been created to mark Purple Tuesday’s recognition of the importance and needs of shoppers with disabilities, as well as raise awareness of non-visible impairments.
Commenting on the campaign, Mark Rycraft, Middleton Grange Shopping Centre manager, said: “After Purple Tuesday’s success last year, we’re so proud to be involved again this year. It’s such a coup for us to have this opportunity to partner with James and help deliver important messages into communities further.”
Alongside this, the centre holds a daily ‘quiet hour’ between 8am until 9.30am and 4.30pm until 5.30pm. Retailers Clark’s and The Entertainer also offer their own ‘quiet hour’ on weekends between 9am until 10am and Catcote Metro has a dedicated quiet space for all shoppers.
Mark added: “For our visitors who experience the world differently, coming to a busy centre with crowds of people, music and bright lights can be disorienting and overwhelming. It’s wonderful that we are able to take steps to ensure people can freely enjoy everything on offer here.
“Making simple adjustments to our surroundings opens up new opportunities for those with ‘silent’ disabilities to feel much more comfortable when out in public spaces.”
Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, in partnership with Catcote School has also created a dedicated autism booklet which is available for the general public to download from its website.
The booklet has been designed as a helpful guide for shoppers who are affected by autism and are visiting the centre. It informs them of designated quiet areas, places to eat and what they need to do if they lose their companion(s).
Mark said that it was important to keep raising awareness in helping Hartlepool increase its credentials as an autism-friendly town. He added: “We’re at the heart of the community and are fully committed to making sure that our retail environment is as appealing as possible to all visitors.
“I’m sure we’ll be welcoming many more people through our doors who may have been previously hesitant to come and spend their leisure time with us.”