Leeds’ White Rose Shopping Centre appoints Halifax born T34 Paralympic wheelchair racer Hannah Cockroft MBE as new Accessibility Ambassador

The White Rose Shopping Centre has announced its new ambassador to coincide with the UK’s accessible shopping day - Purple Tuesday - on November 3.

Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 1:01 pm
Updated Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 1:12 pm
Hannah Cockroft MBE enjoys shopping in the White Rose Shopping Centre before the Coronavirus pandemic (photo: White Rose)

In her new role as Accessibility Ambassador, Hannah Cockroft MBE will begin working with the team at White Rose to highlight what is already done well and see how they can make the centre more accessible.

The T34 wheelchair racer’s appointment coincides with nation-wide Purple Tuesday, which is designed to raise awareness of the needs of disabled customers.

Holding five Paralympic gold medals, as well as multiple world records and world championship titles, Halifax-born Hannah regularly shops at the White Rose Centre.

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The White Rose Shopping Centre in Leeds

She said: “I love coming to the shopping centre as it’s a total breeze to get around, and you can tell that they care about the accessibility needs of their shoppers.

“I can’t wait to start working with the team so that every customer visiting White Rose has an enjoyable experience.”

Hannah took up Para athletics in 2007 and was awarded her MBE just six years later.

The 28-year-old has Cerebral Palsy.

The White Rose has already implemented several measures all year round for disabled customers, including specially equipped changing places, free ‘hidden disability’ lanyards to signify when additional help might be required and sensory toys for those needing some time out.

The centre also allows for quiet shopping hours between 10am and midday every Tuesday morning.

On November 3 the White Rose will be hosting a drop-in area in the Central Atrium between 10am and 6pm, inviting visitors to provide their feedback and thoughts on accessibility at the centre.

Last year, the White Rose was among many of owner Landsec’s retail outlets to promote inclusivity on Purple Tuesday with a purple lighting theme as well as promotional items for customers including purple lanyards and t-shirts.

Steven Foster, Centre Director of Lansec, said he was committed to ensuring that all White Rose visitors have a positive experience when shopping.

He said: “We are delighted to be involved with Purple Tuesday again this year and hope that our measures will raise awareness of the challenges that disbaled customers can face when out shopping.”

Since the re-opening of non-essential retail in June, the White Rose has introduced a number of safety measures for shoppers, including hand sanitiser points throughout, a one way system and floor stickers for social distancing purposes and a queueing system for entry to the centre.

To find out more about the accessibility services that White Rose currently provides, please visit their website.