The Mall Blackburn joined retailers across the nation in marking Purple Tuesday, the UK’s first accessible shopping day.
Tuesday 13th November 2018 saw the shopping centre officially join the campaign to promote awareness about disabled customers, highlight the difficulties disabled shoppers face and measures that can be put in place to overcome them.
The day marked the start of The Mall’s pledge to commit one quiet hour for children with additional needs during every family event.
Staff also dressed in campaign t-shirts and gave away badges to highlight The centre’s commitment to its services for people with disabilities.
As well as disabled parking and toilets there are also Changing Places facilities in Blackburn Market, which are bathroom amenities that have more space and equipment including a height adjustable changing bench and hoist.
Free wheelchairs are available to pre-book at The Mall’s Ask Me Point and Shopmobility Services, which provide mobility scooters and power chairs, can be found in Blackburn Market.
There is a hearing loop, which is used to assist the hearing impaired by transmitting sound directly to a hearing aid, at the Ask Me Point.
In addition, the Just Can’t Wait Card for people with Crohn’s and Colitis can be used across the centre.
Assistance dogs are welcome and The Mall hosts charity collections for The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, which have raised tens of thousands of pounds in recent years.
Loraine Jones, General Manager at The Mall Blackburn, said: “It has been fantastic to be involved in this initiative and I am delighted to announce the start our commitment to provide one quiet hour during all our family events.
‘It’s great to see the UK’s retail community come together to mark this inaugural event and we will certainly be supporting it in years to come too.”
Since launching its initiative in August 2018, leading disability organisation Purple has secured more than 500 sign-ups from established and up-and-coming retail organisations keen to secure their share of the Purple Pound – worth an estimated £249 billion.
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.
Securing custom from the estimated 12 million disabled people living in the UK makes commercial sense. Shoppers are also encouraged to show their support, by visiting their local shopping centre or high street on the day.
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, says: “We’re delighted that The Mall Blackburn 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