At 2.30pm every Wednesday, Countdown Trafalgar Square will have a “quiet hour” all in support of those with autism and sensory issues.

The initiative originated from staff member Theo Hogg, previously from Countdown Marton, whose son is severely autistic.

The music, PA system and half of the store lights are switched off, fidget toys are given to children and staff are asked to not work with stock or rattle around trolleys and cages.

The quiet hour was first tested in Marton and got positive feedback, so previous store manager Kirsten Dinnan wanted to bring it to Whanganui.

“The conservative statistics show that around 2000 people in Whanganui have sensory processing issues, that’s around 800 families,” she said.

The first quiet hour was on May 1 and will continue every Wednesday around mid afternoon to align with school pick-ups and daily routines.

Source: Whanganui Chronicle (Lucy Drake)

Image: Bevan Conley

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