Many of us take the ease of shopping for granted, popping to Sainsbury’s after work or spending a Saturday at Intu Eldon Square. But for a lot of people, shopping environments can be extremely stressful and we don’t just mean people with either visible or invisible disabilities. The elderly, those who live with anxiety, those who have communication challenges or even just people who are going through a difficult period in their lives can all find the task of shopping overwhelming at times.
The thing is, shopping can be a very rewarding environment too, offering a safe, warm space and social interaction with staff and other customers which might be some people’s only human interaction that week. We met Katherine Vero in John Lewis Newcastle to find out more about the work she is doing to help improve shopping environments to make them accessible for everyone.