This is why Home Bargains stores are switching off music to help people with autism

Campaigners have welcomed a store’s decision to take part in an ‘Autism Hour’ campaign.

The thirteen Home Bargains stores across Wales will switch off music for an hour every Saturday morning to make the experience better for people with the condition.

While the stores will remain open for all customers, it’s hoped the ‘quiet hour’ will create a calmer environment for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

I caught up with artist Chris Baker and his parents.

His mother Sam explained how he finds it difficult to be in crowds and environments with lots of people he doesn’t know.

Christopher’s biggest barrier is people and social interaction. He tends to shut down and become selectively mute.

There are other people on the spectrum who would extremely benefit from the fact that there’s no music here today. It’s lovely and quiet, because when you’re on the spectrum, your senses are so heightened.


Chris Baker meeting the Jacksons in 2017

While these changes only take effect for a single hour each week, campaigners say that’s enough to make a valuable difference.

We’re trying to create an environment where we’re quiet, our staff are more considerate of their actions, and how loud they are when they’re working. We try to minimise tannoy announcements, and loud noises etc, and just be considerate really of our shoppers during that period of time.


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