For one hour a week, Countdown Marton is a peaceful haven — and that is delighting an often forgotten section of the community.

Marton Countdown has introduced the first ever “quiet hour” for those with autism and sensory issues, and every Wednesday from 3pm until 4pm, the store is transformed.

The idea was put forward by staff member Lara Hogg who has a severely autistic 13-year-old son named Hunter.

The first sensory hour took place during Autism Awareness Week on April 4.

“We flick off every second light in the shop, we turn off the lights in all our chillers and freezer units, which makes the fans lighter,” Ms Dinnan said.

The PA system and music is switched off and there are no staff working stock, or rattling cages or trolleys.

“We’ve also gone to our local $2 shop and bought some sensory-friendly toys for the kids.”

The quiet hour was so successful that it is now a weekly event.



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