Many of the shops will be having tastings and demonstrations and there will be entertainment and special activities. The initiative has been championed by Marks & Spencer, who are one of the many retailers taking part who will have special offers for those shopping that evening.
Alan Avis from Sense, the national deafblind charity, explains: “One in five people have access issues due to disability, illness or age, so the accessibility of our town centre, shops and restaurants is something that really matters to a large number of people. There are wider benefits in getting access right for disabled people, good wheelchair access means good access for baby buggies, disability aware staff provide a better customer experience for everyone. People are attracted to places where they feel welcome. Towns that make access easy will attract more customers, which in turn attracts more shops. It’s a win win for everyone, disabled or not”.
The team at So Lippy, (located at 45 Upper High Street), said “we are really looking forward to the evening. So Lippy supplies a great range of gifts for men and women, along with classic, hard-to-find and the very latest fragrances, as well as skincare and cosmetics from some of the best names in the industry. We will be offering 15% discount and free goody bags with samples and discount voucher, during the Sense shopping event and look forward to welcoming customers, new and existing, on the evening”.
Helping ensure the success of the evening are an array of voluntary sector groups including Action for Blind People, SeeAbility, United Response and Age Concern Epsom.
Allen Price from the Epsom charity Love Me Love My Mind said “Accessibility issues are not all physical, many people experiencing mental health issues may not think of themselves as having a disability however improved accessibility in and around the shops can make a visit to the Town centre a more attractive and enjoyable experience for our members”.
Adam Worley, Epsom Business Development Manager adds “The accessibility evening will be a great opportunity for everyone, with or without disabilities, to enjoy the town centre in the early evening following the longer shopping hours on a Thursday introduced by some retailers this month”.
So put Thursday 24th April in your dairy – the evening starts at 4pm
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