As many of you know, I’m keen to work with employers and services to ensure Greater Manchester leads the way in becoming the most Autism Friendly city in the world. It was great to visit Lloyd’s on Market Street in Manchester to find out about their Autism friendly Sundays.
Lloyds have teamed up with The Autistic Society, to support autistic customers. Every Sunday at their Market Street branch in Manchester, changes such as lights dimmed, display monitors and music switched off and hand dryers replaced by hand towels are introduced to reduce the sensory impact on customers. Appointment times are also extended and quiet rooms are available for additional privacy.
Along with other companies such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Manchester Airport, Lloyds are now part of the sunflower lanyard scheme where anyone entering wearing one is signalling a vulnerability and staff are fully trained to offer extra support. You can collect a lanyard for free from the branch. Lloyds have also provided me with some, so get in touch if you would like me to pass them on to you.
It would be great to see these initiatives rolled out as widely as possible. Shops, banks and restaurants all need to recognise our neurodiversity and think about minor adjustments that could make to help anyone with sensory or communication challenges feel more comfortable and empowered.
I hope that initiatives like this will pave the way for more businesses to transform shops and services to make it easier for people with autism to navigate everyday tasks.