Sheffield City Opens Early and Sparkles for Autism Event In Corporation with the Lord Mayor of Sheffield

In Supporting Autism Awareness Week, Sparkle Sheffield, a charity dedicated to the support of parents and families of children with autism have organised the first event of its kind in the UK, putting Sheffield on the map for Autism. 15 shops in Sheffield City Centre have agreed to open on their doors 1 hour early or dedicate their first hour of trading on Saturday 1st April for a huge autism awareness campaign. Marks and Spencer are the flagship of this event, aiming to give autistic children, adults, and anyone on the Autistic Spectrum a shopping experience like never before!

Marks and Spencer’s have offered personal shopping experiences, bra fitting services which can be booked for 10 – 20 minutes, beauty and skin care advice, men’s suit tailoring and school wear advice on hand! They are also offering food tasting and free hot drinks to all who attend.

Starbucks Fargate are creating a Sensory Room, revamping their drinks service and the Sparkle team will be giving out free goodie bags for the first 100 people! Virgin Bank Fargate are offering their games room as a safe escape for anyone who feels overwhelmed. The shops will have no music playing and will dim their lights where possible, to make the shopping experience less daunting. Social Stories and maps will be given to all who attend and are of course welcome to go to these spots.

The Lord Mayor of Sheffield will be in attendance and she will be greeting all of the shoppers on the day!
Retailers involved:

  • M&S
  • John Lewis
  • WH Smith
  • HMV
  • Clarkes
  • Superdrug
  • Primark
  • Starbucks
  • Wilko
  • Argos
  • TK Maxx
  • Boots
  • Virgin Bank
  • Debenhams

To take part in this shopping experience, simply go to