Shops in Front Street, Prudhoe are dressing their windows with  purple displays  to mark Purple Tuesday, the U K’s first ever accessible shopping day to be held nationwide on Tuesday 13th.

Purple Tuesday has been created by the Essex based disability organisation Purple and is supported by national chains like M&S and the The Cooperative. Shops supporting Purple Tuesday are making extra efforts to  welcome customers with disabilities and doing their best to make their shops accessible to people in wheelchairs.

In Prudhoe, Purple Tuesday has been organised by Prudhoe Community Partnership which is awarding a £100 prize to the best dressed purple shop front.

Kate Stanforth, a Partnership trustee who has led the initiative, says

“We are delighted at the turn out which show shops are backing the project. When I am out in my wheelchair, I know it can be difficult to get over the front step unless the shop has a ramp”

Prudhoe shops involved include Elizabeth Evans Opticians, Tyne Valley TV, Bed and Chair Centre, Wades Opticians, Ready Steady Knit, Ginevra’ Coffee Bar, Balls Fish and Chip Restaurant, The Co operative,  Gilmour Estates, Prudhoe Library and Relate Charity Shop.

Pauline Edwards, who owns Ready Steady Knit and is also a Partnership trustees says:

“There are lots of simple ways that shop keepers can be more welcoming by gift wrapping or home delivery for customers with disabilities. Ready Steady Knit offers a ‘tootnkumout’ service for disabled customers to collect their goods without leaving their car.” 

According to Purple,

  • Almost 20% of U K adults have some form of disability, the vast majority of which are ‘invisible’ or hidden.
  • Four out of five disabled people say they and their families have left a store or website because of poor service or accessibility issues.
  • The Purple Pound ( the collective spending power of disabled people and their families ) is £249 billion a year.

The Partnership is providing posters, bunting and badges to shop keepers and encourages everyone to Go Purple and shop in Prudhoe next Tuesday