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02 Jul 2019

Making Westfield Tuggerah more inclusive #Community

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Introducing Quiet Hour for customers with sensory sensitivities

For individuals living with dementia, autism, and sensory sensibilities, the shopping centre experience can sometimes be overwhelming.

At all of our Westfield living centres, we aim to make the customer experience both inclusive and welcoming, allowing customers to experience our living centres with comfort and respect.

Following new dementia training for employees and a successful month-long trial, Westfield Tuggerah is now participating in a Quiet Hour every Tuesday morning between 10:30 and 11:30.

Westfield Tuggerah Centre Manager, Bert Cotte, praised the centre’s initiative: “Forty retailers have joined our Quiet Hour initiative and the feedback from customers, retailers and community partners has been fantastic.”

The initiative aims to enhance the shopping experience for those individuals who may struggle when shopping centres become busy and noisy.

Westfield Tuggerah has implemented simple and practical changes, including changing the type of music playing and reducing the volume throughout the centre, lowering the lights in safe areas, stopping non-essential announcements and some retailers not restocking or using Point-of-Sale beeping.

The feedback of the initiative has been overwhelmingly positive.

Bobby Redman, a Westfield customer living with younger onset dementia, praised the work of the Tuggerah centre: “The Quiet Hour at Westfield is very impressive and will have a strong impact on the Wyong-Tuggerah community.

“Westfield should be commended on this initiative to make the Tuggerah Centre an inclusive space not only for people with dementia, but for so many members of the community with invisible disabilities, particularly those with sensory sensitivities.”

Dementia Australia CEO, Maree McCabe, said she was “pleased to support the introduction of a quiet hour at Westfield Tuggerah.

“It's important we build a better understanding of dementia and the steps people can take – such as the Quiet Hour, which can make someone living with dementia, their families and carers, remain connected to their community.”

The program has seen Westfield Tuggerah recognised by Dementia Australia as a Dementia-friendly centre.