BIRKENHEAD'S Pyramids Shopping Centre will be taking part in the UK's first-ever national shopping day to recognise the needs of customers with disabilities.

Launching tomorrow, November 13 'Purple Tuesday', is the first awareness initiative of its kind for shopping centres and retailers to show how they currently support shoppers with both visible and non-visible disabilities and how they can assist further.

The Pyramids has signed up to the Government's Disability Confident scheme which helps employees successfully recruit and retain disabled workers.

The shopping centre has the following facilities and services available all year round:

  • Single-level shopping mall
  • Automatic, bi-parting doors at main entrances
  • Disabled toilet facilities
  • Disabled parking accreditation
  • Additional disabled bays in both car parks
  • Centre management team are trained to help people with disabilities, as well vulnerable members of the community
  • 12 months ago, quiet hours were introduced every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, where no music is played until 10am for the benefit of customers with sensory impairments

Many of the centre’s retailers are also backing Purple Tuesday, including USC, Andrew Collinge and Tech Outpost.

Centre director at Pyramids Derek Millar said: “Almost 20% of adults in the UK have a disability, 80% of which have an invisible or hidden impairment.

"This means that an incredible four out of five disabled customers may require some sort of support.

“For our visitors who experience the world differently, we want to ensure that at Pyramids, we are providing the best customer service and accessibility we can to all members of the community.

“We are continually working with our retailers to look for ways to improve visitors’ experience as it’s hugely important to us that everyone feels comfortable.

“Making simple adjustments to our surroundings opens up new opportunities for those with ‘silent’ disabilities to feel much more at ease when out in public spaces.

“We are honoured to be part of such an inspiring and thought-provoking campaign, which is really bringing together the community here at Pyramids Shopping Centre.”

Purple Tuesday has been launched by disability organisation Purple, which provides support services to disabled people and businesses.

The aim of the campaign is to increase awareness of the barriers experienced by disabled people to encourage sustainable changes in business practice that improve customer experience over the long-term.

Mike Adams, chief executive of Purple, said: “We’re delighted that Pyramids Shopping Centre is supporting the Purple Tuesday campaign to promote better accessibility for disabled shoppers.

"This is a collaborative campaign that extends far beyond one day, and it’s vital that retail organisations come together to make shopping more pleasurable and efficient for everyone.”