AS part of its commitment to becoming an even more inclusive space for the community, Ankerside Shopping Centre has added new floor mats at each of its entrances in a bid to help people with dementia feel at ease when visiting.
The floor mats are designed in a matte, even shade to contrast with the centre’s walls and in a colour that isn’t black or dark, which can be perceived as a void space that can be fallen into.
This is to help people experiencing dementia to confidently enter and exit the shopping centre without fear of tripping or falling.
Mark Burbridge, centre manager at Ankerside, says that making the centre as accessible as possible continues to be high on the agenda. “Over the last 12 months, we have really ramped up our efforts to create a welcoming environment that is pleasant and comfortable for all members of the community.”
Mark continued: “In winter 2018, the centre team made a pledge to further support vulnerable members of the public and we became Dementia Friends by taking part in fantastic sessions to raise awareness about how businesses and individuals alike can become more knowledgeable on the subject.
“What this highlighted are the many simple and inexpensive ways we can make improvements to Ankerside, which can have untold benefits for many,” said Mark. “The new matting is a great example of this, as people may now consider spending some leisure time with us, where in the past this may not have been a viable option, and this is incredibly empowering for those who have dementia.
“The mats look great and we’re really proud that we’ve been able to offer a simple solution to break down a barrier that I’m sure a lot of people weren’t aware of previously.” he added. “Our work will continue throughout 2020 and we look forward to seeing many more enjoying a great day out Ankerside.”