Purple Tuesday is a day established to raise awareness of the challenges that those with disabilities and impairments face when dealing with accessibility in the public realm and in particular to customer-facing businesses.
As part of the initiative, Woking Shopping has carried out an accessibility audit and has put plans into action to ensure that Wolsey Place and The Peacocks Shopping Centres and their car parks are as accessible as possible to all.
There are also various town-centre initiatives that make Woking more accessible to the less-abled. These include the Town Centre Buggy, which offers free transport from Monday to Friday, between 9.30am and 1.30pm for anyone who has difficulties getting around the pedestrianised areas of Woking Town Centre. The Buggy calls at a number of popular spots around the Town Centre and is flexible, although cannot operate inside the Shopping Centres.
Woking Shopmobility offers power scooters as well as manual and powered wheelchairs for hire, available for booking in advance. A companion service is also available to those unable to use a powered wheelchair or scooter, or who require extra assistance. A small charge is payable for the services.
Woking Dial-A-Ride Service, operated by Woking Community Transport, is a door-to-door transport service for Borough residents with reduced mobility. The service can collect customers from their home and take them to destinations across the Borough, including Woking Town Centre. A connection is available between the Dial-a-Ride service, the Town Centre Buggy and Woking Shopmobility at the Mobility Exchange opposite the ground floor entrance to the Ambassadors Theatre. The buses are specially adapted to cater for people with all disabilities including those using wheelchairs, and assistance dogs are welcomed. A small charge is payable for the service.
Woking Shopping is also easily accessible from the town centre’s train station and bus station.
The centre cleaning, security and management staff have competed ‘Dementia Friends’, ‘World Host Principles of Customers Service’ and ‘World Host Customers with additional Needs’ training, meaning that they are well placed to help with customers with a variety of visible and non-visible needs.
Woking Shopping has also appointed a “disability champion” within the management team who will feed back into our overall customer service programme to improve the customer experience within the centres.
All stores and restaurants within Woking Shopping have wholeheartedly embraced the ‘Purple Tuesday’ ethos, to ensure their stores are as accessible as possible to all.
Rowen de Grauw, Customer Experience Manager, Woking Shopping said:
“We’re incredibly proud to be participating in Purple Tuesday. We pride ourselves on accessibility, but the initiative has prompted us to further ensure that everyone is able to enjoy Woking Shopping both on Tuesday and in the future.”