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Shopping centre staff spread cheer for disabled shoppers

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Shopping centre staff spread cheer for disabled shoppers

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Published by HearFirst for HearFirst in Communities and also in Care and Support, Education

Staff from the Manchester Arndale have attended a disability equality awareness course to improve customer service to people with disabilities Staff from the Manchester Arndale have attended a disability equality awareness course to improve customer service to people with disabilities

Members of staff from the Manchester Arndale have attended a disability equality awareness course to improve customer service to people with disabilities in the lead up to one of the busiest times of the year.

Up to a dozen employees, including managers and front line staff, attended the one-day in-house course to learn about five different areas of disability both seen and hidden.  The areas that were covered included physical disabilities, mental health, learning disabilities, ranges of deafness/communication methods and blindness/partial sight.

The course, which was delivered by award winning workplace training and consultancy company HearFirst, was facilitated by two tutors who themselves have hearing and sight loss respectively.  This added relevance and depth to the training.

With over 41 million people visiting the centre each year and up to one million visitors per week in the weeks leading up to Christmas alone, the centre is fully committed to ensuring that visitors with disabilities receive the same level of service as all customers expect. 

Julie Ryder, Director and Founder of HearFirst, said: “We found the staff at Manchester Arndale already have positive attitudes and were keen to provide a greater customer experience for their visitors.  The Disability Equality and Awareness training enhanced their existing skills and gave them increased knowledge and confidence to meet the needs of shoppers with disabilities.  

“Staff at Manchester Arndale understand that as many as 1 in 5 people in the UK have a disability and in many cases, the disability is unseen. Disabled people form a significant proportion of their customer base and providing this type of training, to raise awareness, makes good business sense.”

In addition to providing staff to the centre, Europa Services also provide a range of services including customer services, security and cleaning through to consultancy on waste management and sustainability.

Julie added, “HearFirst provides a range of equality and diversity training courses to many organisations across a variety of sectors.  If any other shopping centres across the UK would like to receive more information about our bespoke training and how we can help train their staff, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.”

For more information on Deaf, disability awareness and BSL training, please contact Julie at HearFirst on 01706 872 816 or visit www.hearfirst.org.uk

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