From 10am-12pm every Tuesday at Waitrose Bath, shopping becomes a little more manageable for those who ordinarily find it a difficult experience.
Slow Shopping UK, helps anyone with visible, invisible or intellectual disabilities who may find shopping stressful or challenging. Bath College Care Academy are working in partnership with St John’s Foundation and Waitrose to create peaceful and calming atmosphere, all the while having social care students, volunteers and staff assisting shoppers.
The Care Academy at Bath College has recently been accredited as a Skills for Care Endorsed Provider, demonstrating high quality learning and development in the adult social care sector.
The pilot launched in January and has been met with much enthusiasm. It will be running until June, but students hope it will become a permanent fixture.
Katelyn, a Health & Social Care student at Bath College explained why it’s important to her: “My Nan has dementia and my grandad used to help her with her shopping. This is a great opportunity to help others who may be in a similar position”
“This project also helps challenge the stereotypes older people may have of us as young students, as well as the preconceptions we may have of them.”
Slow Shopping is an inclusive and safe environment for anyone who feels vulnerable to safely and slowly shop. On entering the store, shoppers are welcomed by a member of the team and shown an information point where they can seek help.
Staff and volunteers are located at help points around Waitrose to help people with their shopping – be it helping with queries, answering questions or helping with lifting and carrying.
Shoppers are welcome to just show up on the day, or if you would like to book assistance in advance then please contact Sally Wilson, Care Academy Coordinator at Bath College on 01225 328692 or Sally.Wilson@bathcollege.ac.uk and she will arrange for you to be met on arrival.
Who is Slow Shopping for?
The service is set up for anyone who may find shopping difficult. Slow Shopping founder Katherine Vero said the service is for: “Anyone who needs more time and presents a space in which it is safe to take time to think.”
“This might include those who suffer from anxiety, those with communication or literacy difficulties, the elderly, those suffering with dementia as well as those who have more visible disabilities.”
“It is not just for people with disabilities though – absolutely anyone is welcome and no-one will be identified. This is an inclusive project and is not meant to exclude anyone.”
“If people would like some help they can chat to a member of staff, but equally if people just want to be left alone and shop in peace, they can do that too.”
“Shopping is an essential part of our lives and involves social interaction, health, financial awareness and being out in the everyday day world. Many carers and friends and families also find shopping very challenging.”