In partnership with Kent County Council (KCC), ASDA is launching a new scheme called ‘Inclusive Hour’ for people who struggle with loud noises, autism and dementia.
Diane Marsh is a Registered Mental Health Nurse and also a KCC Gravesend East County Councillor, Deputy Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health. In her role at KCC she has championed Mental health and has this to say:
As we all know, mental health has lagged far behind physical health in the way it is recognised, diagnosed, treated and supported in the country. Thankfully this is changing. We have a huge agenda at KCC, not only to support sufferers but also to deliver improvements in the way they are served by the community and to make their lives easier.
One of the ways we are doing this is to partner with local businesses such as ASDA. Organisations like ASDA who serve hundreds of thousands of customers are ideal for reaching out to sufferers who visit their stores every day. There are almost 1 in 5 mentally and physically disabled people in the UK. For businesses this adds up to a lot of customers who have money to spend. Some call it the Purple Pound.
People with these kind of difficulties are particularly vulnerable to noise and disturbance, causing stress and anxiety. That’s where ASDA's Inclusive Hour comes in. Every Tuesday between 9am and 10am, brightness will be reduced, noise turned down and trained staff, easily identifiable in purple uniform will be on hand to assist.
We are most grateful to ASDA for their initiative. At the moment this is a trial covering several stores in Kent, including Gravesend, but we hope it proves to be very successful.
If you want to access local support for mental health, please visit Live Well Kent. This is a free service for anyone over 17.