Dolphin Centre Introduces Sensory-Friendly Shopping Days

The Dolphin Centre in Poole is introducing a new Sensory Sunday initiative to accommodate shoppers who experience sensory sensitivity.

Starting on Sunday 27th March, the Dolphin Centre will create a calmer environment for visitors on the last Sunday of every month. This will be achieved by dimming the lighting and having no music in the centre’s main mall area.

John Grinnell, Centre Manager at the Dolphin Centre, said: “There are many reasons why shopping can be a very overwhelming experience for some and this is why we decided to put these measures in place to make the centre more inclusive. Shopping centres have always been known as busy environments with many people, smells and sights to draw people in, but we recognise that this isn’t necessarily enjoyable for everyone.”

Many people of all ages experience sensory overload or sensitivity in daily life, which can be caused by neurodivergent conditions such as autism or ADHD, or various physical and invisible disabilities.

Sensory Sunday will take place throughout the entire day in line with the centre’s opening hours. 27 participating retailers including Boots, Primark and Beales are confirmed to be involved in the initiative.

John Grinnell added: “It’s important to us at the Dolphin Centre that our shopping experience is accessible for everyone, and this small change will make a big difference to many of our visitors.”

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