A SCHOOL uniform shop has become the first in Bromsgrove to win the prestigious Autism Friendly Award.
To earn the accolade, presented by the National Autistic Society, S&H Schoolwear on Church Street had to fulfil five criteria outlined by the charity.
They included providing customers with information about autism friendly approaches, staff and volunteers having an understanding of the condition and how it affects people and ensuring the physical environment was not daunting to those with autism.
Shops or organisations also have to offer a welcoming customer experience to people with autism and display an ongoing commitment to raising awareness.
In 2018, ahead of the start of the academic year, the shop owners Helen and Simon Greaves introduced designated one-to-one quiet shopping appointments where parents could bring in their autistic children to try on uniform when there was no-one else there.
It followed the pair being approached by mum Vicky Bradley who wanted to bring in her daughter.
Helen, whose close family member is autistic and struggles with busy shops, said it was great for the store to be recognised.
“It is a subject that is close to our hearts and it is especially exciting for us as we are the first venue in Bromsgrove to achieve this accreditation.
“It’s not about spending lots of money, drastically changing working practises or becoming experts on autism – often, very simple adjustments to an environment can make a world of difference.”
She added she hoped it would inspire other shops in Bromsgrove to look into becoming accredited.
“It would be nice if, in the future, this award was commonplace on the High Street and not the exception.
Email email@example.com or call 01527 874885 for more on S&H Schoolwear.