This year’s Autism Hour campaign week has been the biggest ever, with over 14,500 shops across the UK running an enormous 35,800 Autism Hours over the last week. This is a tremendous achievement and we hope that this opportunity will mean thousands of businesses take further autism-friendly steps. 

We’ve picked some of our favourite moments this week, that show how easy it is to create a world that works for autistic people. 

Tottenham Hotspur ran an Autism Hour

Autism Hour at Tottenham Hotspur

This year, football teams such as Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham held Autism Hours in their club shops, allowing autistic fans to support their favourite teams. 

At Tottenham, all four of their shops educated the staff and public about autism, and dimmed their lights. In one of their shops, Spurs invited some local school children to have a look around. 

Autism Hours in mosques

Building on our first ever Autism Hour in a mosque at Finsbury Park Mosque in July, we’ve seen mosques take part in this year’s campaign to help autistic people attend their place of worship. This shows that autism-friendly spaces are needed in communities all over the UK, and we’re excited to see how this develops over the coming months. 

Barnardo’s did a whole day of Autism Hours

This year, we want autistic people to know that Autism Hour is more than just 60 minutes, as it gives hundreds of thousands of staff the opportunity to learn about autism and use that information in their daily working lives. 

Barnardo’s, however, went above and beyond to run a whole day of Autism Hours, allowing shoppers to browse in an autism-friendly environment whenever they wanted. This is an amazing achievement and we hope other businesses follow suit.  

Autism Hour in the Scottish Parliament

The Scottish Parliament took part by dimming lights in the Main Hall and reducing noise, helping to raise awareness of autism in the political arena. 

They have also created an autistic-friendly guide for people visiting, allowing autistic people to get involved in politics without fear of overwhelm or judgement.  Our Autism Hour campaign is one way to give MSPs an opportunity to understand what they can do to best support autistic people all year long, to create a more autistic-friendly society.

Autism Hour at Scottish Parliament

Famous shoppers during Autism Hour

Many of our Ambassadors and key contacts used Autism Hour to see just how different an autism-friendly shopping experience can be. During the week, we helped to facilitate many different visits including: 

Alan Gardner, The Autistic Gardener, in Birmingham

Alan GardnerLeicester Tigers rugby star Harry Wells with his son Oscar

Harry Wells with his son Oscar
Justin Tomlinson MP, Minister for Disabled People, in Swindon with our Head of Policy, Tim Nicholls

Justin Tomlinson MPDame Cheryl Gillan MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Autism, in Amersham

Dame Cheryl Gillan MP

As you can see, Autism Hour has a sweeping impact across the UK as staff across all areas of work learn about autism and how best to support autistic customers.

To find out more about our campaigns, such as Autism Hour, sign up to our Campaigner Updates