To celebrate Purple Tuesday, West Ham United invited a group of Havering College students with a range of disabilities to our London Stadium Store.
Purple Tuesday is an initiative which sees retailers around the UK come together to promote accessible shopping – emphasising the importance and needs of disabled shoppers and supporting inclusive shopping.
The Hammers have introduced a range of initiatives to improve the experience for every shopper at the store, including:
- Training staff how best to serve customers who have any disabilities or impairments.
- Till points in store are accessible
- Walkways in store are always consciously made wide enough for those in a wheelchair/pushchairs
- The Stadium Store is equipped with an accessible toilet and a lift
- Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park mobility services are on hand to take supporters to and from the store from just outside Westfield Stratford City
At the Purple Tuesday event, the students were shown different work areas around the Store and were invited to try some of the key roles performed by matchday staff, including personalisation, shirt printing and tasks on the shop floor.
The day ended with students talking about their experiences of shopping at the Hammers store in a Q&A with staff and a competitive Supermarket Sweep.
Austin Hughes, Community Sport Manager at the West Ham United Foundation, said: “Purple Tuesday is a fantastic piece of work going on across the nation in lots of different shops.
“We’ve had some students in with a range of disabilities. They’re being shown how the shop works and that will empower them to want to go out and do some shopping in other places.
“It’s great for us because obviously we want West Ham fans to come and join us in the shop, but if these youngsters go ‘hey, look I feel confident enough to go and shop somewhere else’ that’s also a positive.”
James Christopher, Stadium Retail Manager, added: “Purple Tuesday is about accessibility for disabled people or those with impairments, whether that’s from a working perspective or from a customer perspective.
“One-in-five people in this country have a disability or impairment, so for us it’s important that we showcase our equality and diversity for the first thing, and also show here, for those who would like to work in the store, that it is close to our hearts.”
Sian Cappi, Senior Lecturer at Havering College, commented: “The students have absolutely loved it. They’ve enjoyed coming along, looking at how everything works. They’ve enjoyed the Supermarket Sweep, going around the store and looking at different items too.
“Within the college we do employment days with all the students and for them to come here and see they could possibly find employment within the store is fantastic for them.”