We’re going quiet for autism

This October, we’re joining the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour. From 9-10am on Saturday 5 and 12 October, we’ll be dimming the lights and lowering the noise in all of our stores to create a calmer atmosphere for our autistic customers.

Autistic people can have sensory differences. Some feel, see and experience the world differently. This means that shop environments with strong smells, bright lights and loud noises may sometimes feel overwhelming. We want to help deliver the easiest shopping trip for everyone in our stores, whoever they are.

Ronnie Pinder, a Personal Shopper at our Askham Bar Extra store understands more than many how important this initiative is.

“When people find out I’m autistic, they’re surprised. They think someone with my disability can’t also be a confident public speaker, but I’m happy to share my story if it helps others understand what autism looks like. A lot of people have an idea in their head about it, but they don’t realise that autism is actually a very complex condition.”

Ronnie’s own experiences have made him want to help other autistic people too:

“Initially, my colleagues couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to go into the bakery section, but my autism means I’m sensitive to different types of light. Seeing a particular type of light can make me ill for days afterwards.”

To help his manager understand him better, Ronnie suggested that Fresh Lead Manager Lisa Ingham attend a training course with him. Lisa says:

“I definitely didn’t fully understand what autism was before I took the course with Ronnie. The smallest of changes make a huge difference to autistic colleagues.”

We are proud to have a culture which enables all of our colleagues to grow and develop at Tesco, and have recently been accredited as a level 2 Disability Confident Employer – supporting our commitment to creating an inclusive environment where everyone feels welcome


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