Ian Grant promotes Asda's inclusive hour (Credit: Asda)

Ian turns down the volume for autism and dementia

As a Radio Clatterbridge presenter and event host, Ian Grant is used to turning up the tunes for his audience.

But when he was asked to lower the volume for his customers at work, he jumped at the chance.

That’s because Ian is a certified Dementia Friend as part of his role as community champion at Asda in Arrowe Park.

The supermarket is one of 19 shops in Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales to trial an ‘inclusive hour’ to help customers with autism and dementia and others who struggle with loud noise.

So while turning off the in-store speakers might seem like a big ask to our resident radio enthusiast, he was actually all too willing to help out.

“My father-in-law had dementia, so it’s a cause that’s close to my heart, and I’m looking forward to seeing how much of a difference the inclusive hour can make. Because these are hidden disabilities it’s important we listen carefully to people and understand their needs.” – Ian Grant

From 10-11am every Tuesday, the stores will turn off the radio and tannoy and turn down the lights and beeps on the checkouts to make a welcoming shopping environment for people who may otherwise struggle.

Hundreds of Ian’s colleagues have been trained to help them understand the needs of customers with dementia and autism.

“It’s vital businesses ensure they are taking steps to become dementia friendly and these customers are supported to feel included in their local community.” – Jeremy Hughes, Alzheimer’s Society

Meanwhile, Ian has been working closely with Wirral-based charities which help people with dementia and autism to invite them into the store to talk to customers.

Branches in Birkenhead, Bromborough, Ellesmere Port and Liscard are also offering the inclusive hour as part of the scheme.