Peterborough’s Queensgate shopping centre has been praised for its work to provide a relaxed setting for shoppers with disabilities.
The centre was presented with a Merit Award at the prestigious Purple Apple Awards for its EnAbled event.
The event provided a relaxed shopping environment for disability groups, carers and individuals with specific needs.
The awards reward effective retail destination marketing within the UK retail property sector.
Environmental Manager at Queensgate, Carol Wakelin, said: “This is an amazing achievement and we are very much celebrating the fact that we have been recognised in these prestigious awards.
The award was presented to Queensgate by street dance sensation Ashley Banjo at a ceremony in London.
The EnAbled event in December was a huge success, with Queensgate more than doubling the number of guests in attendance, compared with the previous year.
Visitors were able to enjoy their Christmas shopping to the backdrop of low-volume soothing music and dimmed lighting.
The tannoy system was turned off for the night and pictorial mall guides were available to help with navigation, plus shoppers could access exclusive discounts.
The information ‘hub’ offered a place for people to find information and support, helping those in crisis.
There were also ‘quiet zones’ manned by friendly staff, free refreshments, sensory areas and a dog station for guide dogs.
Queensgate’s trained staff wore branded clothing, making them easily identifiable so they could answer any questions on the night.
The award judges said: “The creative execution has clearly been thought about and treated sensitively. Excellent results for a small budget and something that can be repeated.”
Carol added: “It was wonderful to see how much the EnaAbled event helped people.
“On the night we helped several people at the ‘hub’, including a woman in a serious crisis who we were able to guide and offer support and guidance to. It was very rewarding and we will definitely be repeating this event, opening up the shopping experience to, and empowering, an important sector of society.”
The EnAbled event will return to Queensgate on December 5 this year.