Crystal Peaks Shopping Centre supports people with sensory issues in pioneering initiative

An initiative to support those with sensory issues returned to a Sheffield shopping centre this Sunday.

Crystal Peaks Shopping Centre lowered all sounds within the building as part of the Sensory Sunday initiative to create a calmer and safe environment for people with sensory issues.

Stores were encouraged to turn down the level of music, and turn off hand dryers and children’s rides in an attempt to reduce noise.  

A spokesperson for Crystal Peaks said: “Not all shoppers are alike, some love the hustle and bustle, others want a more peaceful experience and see shopping centres as a challenge.”

This initiative has been a welcome change by those experiencing sensory issues. 

Angus Paddinson, 19, said: “As someone with autistic relatives, it’s interesting to see how differently they react in loud and busy spaces.

“I think it could be very beneficial for people with autism. It’ll allow them to shop in comfort.”

According to the National Autistic Society, for people with autism, processing too many sounds and information may increase levels of stress and result in distressed behaviour.

A Facebook user also said: “I know a lot of young kids and kids with autism who feel overwhelmed by the noise in Crystal Peaks and it makes shopping very difficult.”

The award-winning shopping centre introduced Sensory Sunday in 2019, with it occurring on the third Sunday of every month between 10am to 2pm.

Social media users have shown their support saying: “We will be there because it’ll be a pleasant and peaceful shopping trip.” 

Mr Paddinson added: “The silence created a strange atmosphere but it was well worth it if it helped any individuals.”

For more information visit the Crystal Peaks Shopping Centre website at

Written by Lloyd Paterson

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