Autism initiative extends to shops & restaurants


The Valley's Autism Awareness Initiative took another positive step today by hosting an awareness workshop attended by staff working at some of its shops and restaurants. 

The Valley launched its initiative in August by forming a working partnership with the Vale of Evesham School, and by putting its management team through a National Autistic Society accredited training programme.   

The workshop covered topics such as sensory issues that may affect people living with autism while shopping, and why this can be a trigger for stress and anxiety, or “meltdowns”. Because of the workshop, employees now understand how small steps they can take – such as lowering music or offering support to someone who may be in difficulties – can have a significant impact.

The workshop was delivered by Rachel Evans, Lead Teacher of Outreach at the Vale of Evesham school, which is also now working towards a partnership with The Valley that could see pupils from the school offered work-placement opportunities.

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others – meaning that people with autism often see, hear and feel the world differently to others. There are around 700,000 living with autism in the UK, equating to around 1 in 100 of the population.

phil maclean