MORRISONS in Troon and Ayr will be introducing a ‘quiet hour’ to help those with autism or who are sensitive to noise.

The Quieter Hour initiative has been created with the support of the National Autistic Society and it will take place every Saturday, between 9am and 10am.

During the Quieter Hour, the stores will dim the light, turn both music and the radio off, avoid making tannoy announcements, reduce movements of trolleys and baskets, turn the checkout beeps and other electrical noises down and place posters around the store alerting customers that it is Quieter Hour.

Morrisons will also work to improve awareness amongst their employees of the issues autistic customers face in store.

Sharon Stobbs, from the South Ayrshire Autistic Society, said: “Morrisons in both Ayr and Troon now have quiet hours within their stores and we are delighted with the progress that local organisations are making by recognising the needs of people with autism.

"Going to the supermarket can be an extremely difficult task for parents and even more difficult for children and adults who find the whole experience overwhelming.

“People with autism often find open spaces and loud environments very stressful and supporting people to access these environments should be a priority for us all.

“Parents tend to avoid taking their children to the supermarket and subsequently feel isolated.

“Increasing public understanding of autism is important to our charity and the people we support and we are keen to work alongside other local stores to roll out this initiative and indeed extend quiet hours.

“Thank you to Morrisons and other local stores and organisations for making small changes within the environment which make a huge difference to our families.”

Allan Murdoch at Morrisons Ayr added: “Our initial trials showed there is a need for a quieter shopping experience. We hope that these changes make a real difference for some of our customers at our store.”