Bath businesses and charities have come together to provide extra welcome in the city for shoppers with additional needs this Christmas.

Between 10am and 12noon, on Wednesday 13th and Wednesday 20th November, people with dementia and other invisible disabilities and their carers are being made extra welcome in Bath for compassionate Christmas shopping days.

It’s a new initiative being launched on World Kindness Day, 13th November and inspired by the national Slow Shopping campaign adopted by Waitrose and local initiatives such as the Bath Sainsbury’s ‘Signsburys’ campaign. Bath BID is supporting two shopping mornings to make it easier for people with additional needs to shop early for Christmas.

Many shops are already signed up to the Slow Shopping campaign including teams from New Look, Laura Ashley, North Face, Comptoir Libanais, Cosy Club, Jessops, Nandos, Swarovski, Top Shop & Top Man and Waitrose and many organisations are trained as Dementia friendly businesses.

On those two days, there will be extra quiet spaces for people to get away from the noise and the crowds at Metro Bank, St Michaels and St Swithin’s churches and Bath Welcome Ambassadors will be accompanied by Dementia Action Alliance volunteers to provide guidance and directions.

The word is being spread to local organisations so that potential shoppers know they will receive a warm welcome including the Dementia Action Alliance, Slow Shopping, St Johns Foundation, Brandon Trust, Age UK and B&NES volunteer service. It is hoped that this campaign will build on the excellent work by the Roman Baths on making their site accessible to all and lead to further city partnership work.

Bath BID CEO, Allison Herbert is keen for Bath to be known as a compassionate city;

“These two dedicated shopping mornings are a great move forward and we will help to extend the initiative in the future.”

Bath BID Welcome Ambassador Fiona Bell is also a volunteer for the Bath & NE Somerset Dementia Action Alliance. She has championed this campaign which brings together her two passions: welcoming people to Bath and supporting people affected by dementia.

“We just want to make it a little bit easier for people to do their shopping in Bath city centre and have a lovely day out. 70% of people with dementia live in their own homes. Living with dementia doesn’t mean that people are unable to enjoy shopping, as long as they are supported with patience and kindness. By providing a bit of extra help, information and a friendly smile we can ensure that they are welcome in Bath.”