AFC Bournemouth is becoming more autism friendly with the introduction of a Superstore Sensory Hour at Vitality Stadium between 4-5pm on the first Tuesday of every month.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects the way the brain processes information, which can make accessing shops incredibly stressful for people with autism and their families.
Supported by Autism Wessex, AFC Bournemouth’s Superstore Sensory Hour will launch on Tuesday, 3rd September where music and television screens will be turned off and background noise will be reduced.
In addition, retail and ticketing staff will receive additional training so that they are able to provide the best service and support possible to every visitor.
Autism Wessex’s fundraising manager, Tom Johnston, said: “some retail environments can be incredibly stressful, distressing and overwhelming.
For some supporters and families, the changes AFC Bournemouth have made mean that they are able to visit the Superstore with confidence. The changes give supporters a much calmer in-store experience. Staff have also learnt about autism and how they can best support autistic people as well as their families.
With this partnership AFC Bournemouth are now able to provide an environment that lets autistic supporters enjoy the experience of visiting the Superstore.”
AFC Bournemouth’s commercial director, Rob Mitchell, said: “it is at the heart of our retail strategy to ensure that our Superstore is accessible to all, that all visitors have a comfortable and enjoyable experience with us, and that we offer merchandise for everyone.
The Superstore Sensory Hour is an important step forward in achieving this and we look forward to working with Autism Wessex this season.”
AFC Bournemouth encourages anyone who visits the Superstore during the allocated hour to be mindful of other visitors.