Sensory Sundays at Falkirk’s Howgate de-stress Christmas shopping

The Howgate's Sensory Sundays will make Christmas shopping less stressful
The Howgate's Sensory Sundays will make Christmas shopping less stressful

People who find Christmas shopping too stressful and noisy can now find some respite thanks to a new initiative.

Falkirk’s Howgate Centre recognises that some customers find noisy, busy shopping centres challenging – particularly in the festive season.

Picture: Micahel Gillen

Picture: Micahel Gillen

So, the centre has launched Sensory Sunday and from now until Christmas the centre will turn its piped music off on Sundays, while retailers will keep their music low and only use tannoy announcements for emergencies.

Staff have also undergone training through Forth Valley Sensory Centre to help them with issues such as helping customers who lip read and to assist with sighted guiding.

Jacquie Winning, centre manager at the sensory centre said:“It is fantastic that the Howgate is starting this initiative.

“It is the first of its type in the area and will be a real benefit to the thousands of local people who manage a sensory impairment each day.

“To them, the environment they are in is vitally important and by acknowledging this, the Howgate is encouraging accessibility and allowing people to enjoy a true retail experience.”

The centre will also open its grotto one hour early on Sundays to offer children with special needs a private visit they can pre-book.

Margaret Foy, marketing manager said: “We want to do everything we can to offer a stress free experience and ensure all children have the opportunity to visit Santa.”

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