Bluewater is celebrating Purple Tuesday on 7th November with events to raise awareness of sensory and accessibility issues.

Purple Tuesday is a global initiative which looks to improve the customer experience for disabled people and their families year-round, with a day of celebration on the first Tuesday in November each year. Participating organisations must make a commitment to greater inclusion and accessibility, to ensure a positive experience for all guests.

The centre will be hosting a variety of events both on and before Tuesday 7th November to increase awareness of the facilities available for guests.

On Saturday 4th November, the centre will be welcoming the ‘See My Voice’ signing choir on the Lower Thames Walk, at the entrance to the Plaza, between 1-3pm. Whilst on Tuesday 7th November, the Vision Communication Choir will be performing from 11am-12noon, and 1-2pm in the Moon Court.

Bluewater is dedicated to continuously improving inclusivity and accessibility for all visitors year-round. Accessibility facilities at the centre include:

  • Quiet Evenings every Tuesday from 4-6pm. Between these times, the centre and its retailers dim the lights and reduce noise for those who prefer a calmer shopping environment without music, product demonstrations or mall activity.
  • Newly-installed stoma-friendly facilities, which follow the Colostomy UK guidelines and include new wall hooks, lipped shelves, wall mirrors, and the correct disposal facilities are located in toilet blocks in the Rose Gallery, Guildhall and Thames Walk.
  • Accessible toilets and Changing Places facilities for people with profound and multiple disabilities, each fitted with specialist equipment such as a hoist and changing bench with enough space for up to two carers to assist those with a disability. These can be found in the Lower Village by the Lower Yellow Welcome Hall.
  • Wheelchair and mobility scooter hire to ensure guests with mobility issues can enjoy their visit. Booking is essential.
  • Over 300 accessible parking spaces located in each of the centre’s car parks.
  • Free sensory backpacks can be collected from the Guest Services desk and hidden disability lanyards can be picked up from the Concierge Desk.

James Waugh, Centre Director at Bluewater Shopping Centre, said: “There are estimated to be 16 million people in the UK with some form of disability, almost a quarter of the population, and around 80% of disabled people have hidden impairments.

“It’s really important for us that anyone with additional needs feels welcome and supported at our centres, and we’re keen to understand what we can do to improve our visitors’ experience. 

“A trip to the shops may seem straightforward for some of us, but can present difficulties for others in ways we might not immediately think of. It’s important that we consider and remove these barriers wherever possible.”

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