Telford Shopping Centre has partnered with the Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB) to implement a training programme aimed at making the DTZ managed Centre an even friendlier place to be for people living with disabilities.

The first batch of twelve operations staff at Telford Shopping Centre have now undergone training led by the RNIB’s experts to ensure they can all communicate confidently with those affected by visual and hearing difficulties. Twelve more will follow and the intention is to train all frontline staff within the next few months.

The training sessions included practical simulation exercises based upon real life experiences in and around the shopping centre environment, as well as advice and guidance to boost the team’s understanding of how best to accommodate the needs of individuals.

Telford Shopping Centre’s Centre Director, Chris Jones, said: “With approximately 11 million people in the UK living with a disability there is real and pressing need for shopping centres to ensure teams are well-equipped with the skills and knowledge to promote accessibility. 

“Telford Shopping Centre is at the heart of the community – it is a place where everyone should feel welcome and it is very important to us that all our visitors have an enjoyable, optimum experience.  An ongoing investment in training is an integral part of our commitment to providing a high standard of customer service.

Neil Heslop for the RNIB, said: “We were delighted to work with Telford Shopping Centre to implement this vital training programme. With 2 million blind and partially sighted people in the UK, and around 50,000 profoundly deaf people, it is important that those who work in commercial environments, such as shopping centres, have a clear understanding of how they can communicate effectively with everyone. 

“We now look forward to providing ongoing support as required and building on our relationship with Telford Shopping Centre well into the future.”