Quiet Hour

First Wednesday of every month from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Shh! It’s oh so quiet…

In support of the National Autistic Society Scotland, we run a Quiet Hour on the first Wednesday of every month from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm to assist shoppers who see, hear, or feel the world in a different way. From autism to dementia, this hour is for anyone who prefers a quieter setting within Eastgate. 

For the remainder of 2021, a Quiet Hour will take place on Wednesday 6th October, Wednesday 3rd November, and Wednesday 1st December.

What happens during a Quiet Hour?

  • Kiddie rides will not be operating
  • The music/chimes will be turned off on Noah’s Ark Clock
  • Extra noise-making activities such as maintenance work will be reduced
  • Where possible and whilst still maintaining a safe environment, mall lights will be reduced
  • Unless an emergency arises, a request will be made for security to not make tannoy announcements

To help autistic people and their families feel safe and able to shop in a more accessible environment, members of Eastgate’s facilities team who have received autism awareness training from the NAS Scotland wear an “Autism Aware & Here to Help” badge.

Participating Retailers

During each Quiet Hour, there will also be in-store temporary changes such as no music, tannoy announcements, or till beeps. Over 40 participating retailers such as HMV, Lakeland, The Entertainer, Joules, and Superdry have committed to making small adjustments to their stores to help create new opportunities for those who find being out in public spaces difficult. Full details can be found below.

Eastgate Retailers (A-Z)

  • Card Factory - There will be no in-store tannoy announcements; There will be no in-store music; Lights will be dimmed/switched off
  • Ernest Jones - There will be no in-store tannoy announcements; There will be no in-store music
  • H.Samuel - There will be no in-store tannoy announcements; There will be no in-store music; There will be no strong smells e.g. candles, perfume, room spray
  • Hera - There will be no in-store music; Lights will be dimmed/switched off; There will be no strong smells e.g. candles, perfume, room spray
  • HMV - There will be no in-store music

  • Hotel Chocolat - There will be no in-store tannoy announcements; There will be no in-store music; Lights will be dimmed/switched off; Restocking shelves and arranging stock will be restricted

  • In the City Café - There will be no in-store tannoy announcements; There will be no in-store music; Till beeps will be turned down/off

  • Jay Jay Kidswear - There will be no in-store tannoy announcements; There will be no in-store music; Lights will be dimmed/switched off; Till beeps will be turned down/off; There will be no strong smells e.g. candles, perfume, room spray; Restocking shelves and arranging stock will be restricted

  • Joules - There will be no tannoy announcements; There will be no music; Lights will be dimmed/switched off; There will be no strong smells; Restocking shelves and arranging stock will be restricted
  • One of a Kind - There will be no in-store music; There will be no strong smells e.g. candles, perfume, room spray; Restocking shelves and arranging stock will be restricted

  • O2 - There will be no in-store music; There will be no strong smells e.g. candles, perfume, room spray; Restocking shelves and arranging stock will be restricted

  • RBS - There will be no in-store tannoy announcements; There will be no in-store music

  • Rogerson Shoes - There will be no in-store tannoy announcements; There will be no in-store music; There will be no strong smells e.g. candles, perfume, room spray

  • Smiggle - There will be no in-store music; Restocking shelves and arranging stock will be restricted

  • Starbucks - There will be no music; Restocking shelves and arranging stock will be restricted

  • Superdry - There will be no in-store music

  • The Body Shop - There will be no in-store tannoy announcements; There will be no in-store music; Restocking shelves and arranging stock will be restricted

  • The Perfume Shop - There will be no in-store music; Lights will be dimmed/switched off; Restocking shelves and arranging stock will be restricted

  • Three Store - There will be no music; There will be no strong smells

  • Timpsons - Noise will be reduced by not using the shoe machines

  • Vision Express - There will be no in-store music

  • Vodafone - There will be no in-store tannoy announcements; There will be no in-store music; Lights will be dimmed/switched off; Till beeps will be turned down/off; There will be no strong smells e.g. candles, perfume, room spray; Restocking shelves and arranging stock will be restricted

  • Yours Clothing - There will be no in-store tannoy announcements; There will be no in-store music; There will be no strong smells e.g. candles, perfume, room spray; Restocking shelves and arranging stock will be restricted

Falcon Gallery Retailers (A-Z)

  • Lakeland - There will be no in-store tannoy announcements; There will be no in-store music; Till beeps will be turned down/off; There will be no strong smells e.g. candles, perfume, room spray; Restocking shelves and arranging stock will be restricted
  • Cafferys - There will be no in-store tannoy announcements; There will be no in-store music; There will be no strong smells e.g. candles, perfume, room spray

  • Claire's - There will be no in-store tannoy announcements; There will be no in-store music; There will be no strong smells e.g. candles, perfume, room spray; Restocking shelves and arranging stock will be restricted

  • EE - There will be no in-store music; There will be no strong smells e.g. candles, perfume, room spray

  • Fuel Juice Bar - There will be no in-store tannoy announcements; There will be no in-store music; Lights will be dimmed/switched off; There will be no strong smells e.g. candles, perfume, room spray; Restocking shelves and arranging stock will be restricted. Note - blenders cannot be switched off and are extremely loud when used

  • Grape Tree - Restocking shelves and arranging stock will be restricted

  • H&M - There will be no in-store music; There will be no strong smells e.g. candles, perfume, room spray

  • New Look - There will be no in-store music; Restocking shelves and arranging stock will be restricted

  • Phase Eight - There will be no in-store music; There will be no strong smells e.g. candles, perfume, room spray; Restocking shelves and arranging stock will be restricted

  • Quiz - There will be no in-store music

  • Schuh - There will be no in-store music

  • Stormfront - There will be no music; Restocking shelves and arranging stock will be restricted

  • The Entertainer - There will be no tannoy announcements; There will be no music; There will be no strong smells; Restocking shelves and arranging stock will be restricted; No noisy demonstrations will be on

  • Trespass - There will be no music; There will be no strong smells; Restocking shelves and arranging stock will be restricted

  • Waterstones - There will be no in-store tannoy announcements; There will be no in-store music; There will be no strong smells e.g. candles, perfume, room spray

  • White Stuff - There will be no in-store tannoy announcements

Falcon Square Retailers (A-Z)

  • Highland Hospice - There will be no in-store tannoy announcements; There will be no in-store music; There will be no strong smells e.g. candles, perfume, room spray; Restocking shelves and arranging stock will be restricted
  • Subway - There will be no in-store tannoy announcements; There will be no in-store music; There will be no strong smells e.g. candles, perfume, room spray; Restocking shelves and arranging stock will be restricted   

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you conducting Regular Autism Hours? 
The National Autistic Society has highlighted how overwhelming public spaces can be for an autistic person trying to deal with too much information. They can be crowded, unpredictable, loud and bright, often made worse by encountering members of the public that simply doesn’t understand them and their autism. This has resulted in 64% of autistic people avoiding the shops, and leaves autistic people and their families feeling socially isolated. 

Why do you not always do this? 
We want to learn more about how we can make the Centre a more welcoming environment for autistic people and their families. Big change can take some time, but the National Autistic Society has been helping us to better understand the small changes we can make which will make the biggest difference for autistic people. 

I don’t think you know anything about autism? 
I’m sorry you feel that way. We know that autism affects everyone differently, so while it would be difficult for us to become experts in autism, were keen for our staff to learn more about autism so that we’re better able to support autistic customers. As part of this, we are always keen to learn how best to support autistic people, and would love to learn more about what we can do to help you access Eastgate.

Why are non-autistic people here? 
Our regular Autism Hour is all about creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone. We want everyone to respect what the Autism Hour stands for. We hope that by welcoming everyone, the public may also learn more about autism by witnessing the small changes which take place at Eastgate on the first Wednesday of every month from 3:00 am – 4:00 pm.

What training have you had? 
The adjustments we have made have come from the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour campaign, which it developed in conjunction with autistic people as part of its work. We have shared this information around our business so that all our staff understand what the Autism Hour involves, and how to create a better environment to welcome autistic people and their families. 

The date/time isn't convenient for me
We had to find a time which works best for the Centre, as well as our customers. We’re keen to hear your feedback about which times might suit you better so we can consider that when we host Autism Hours in the future.  

This environment isn’t actually autism-friendly for me
We’re very sorry to hear that. While we are doing everything we can to improve the Centre's suitability for autistic people and their families, we know that it’s hard to create an environment that works for everyone as each autistic person is different and has different needs. Our Autism Hours try to make small changes that will make the biggest difference for most autistic people. We recognise this will not make the perfect environment for every autistic person, however, they provide important first steps for change. For this reason, we are really interested to hear what other adjustments we could make to help you access the Centre.

Why should I care about autism? 
According to The National Autistic Society, around 700,000 people in the UK are on the autism spectrum. Together with their families, this means autism is a part of daily life for 2.8 million people. Autistic people can get overloaded by everything around them. This can make the world a terrifying, isolating place. But it doesn't have to be like this. Small changes can reduce the overload for them, and make places like shopping centre much more accessible. 

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