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Photo: Dominic Salter

Store manager Simon Lea met a mother in his supermarket who was struggling with her autistic son. The boy was distressed by all of the noises and movement around him, and Lea helped to calm him by giving him a football.

Lea was moved by the experience and after learning that it is common for autistic children to be upset by the sensory overload in supermarkets, he was determined to do something to help.

His plan is to create “The Quiet Hour” every Saturday, where there will be no in-store music, no flashing lights from TV screens, even the soft hum and rumble of escalators will be silent as they’re turned off. Workers will also hand out store maps featuring pictures instead of words to further help people with sensory challenges.

‘The Quiet Hour’ will take place every Saturday in Asda Manchester, beginning May 7th.