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  • Westfield & Ethos Farm Take Accessibility & Non-Visible Disability Support to New Heights

Westfield & Ethos Farm Take Accessibility & Non-Visible Disability Support to New Heights

Wednesday, 9 March, 2022

Westfield & Ethos Farm Take Accessibility & Non-Visible Disability Support to New Heights

London, 2nd March it was announced today that Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City have taken great strides towards becoming recognised as the most accessible shopping destinations in the UK with a comprehensive series of guest service enhancements developed in partnership with Ethos Farm, who manage Westfield London and Stratford City’s Guest Services and Car Park Customer Service teams.
To support adults and children with non-visible disabilities, both centres launched Westfield Sensory Packs this month. Available to hire from the Guest Services Desks at each Westfield location, the Sensory Packs have been designed to support people living with a wide range of disabilities with a selection of resources to help make the shopping experience as enjoyable as possible. The sensory packs were designed in collaboration with The Queensmill School and The Jack Tizzard School and contain ear defenders and sunglasses to help with noise and light sensitivity, fiddle toys to keep hands busy and relieve stress and ‘feeling fans’ to express feelings. Speaking about the Sensory Packs, General Manager for Westfield Stratford City, Alyson Hodkinson, commented:
“Our London centres are incredibly diverse and I’m proud that we have introduced the Westfield Sensory Packs service, which help ensure that our centres continue to be accessible and inclusive to all. The early response from guests hiring the packs has been so positive and we are delighted to be able to have new ways to support those who can find the shopping experience a little overwhelming.”

Additionally, Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City have this month also both achieved the People’s Parking Accreditation for their commitment to providing car parking to meet all customer needs. The scheme designed by Helen Dolphin MBE, accredits car parks who are setting the standard for supporting guests with accessibility needs and non-visible disabilities as well as families and environmentally-conscious guests who drive electric vehicles.
Commenting on the accreditation, Helen Dolphin MBE, Director of People’s Parking said:
“It is a pleasure to be working with Westfield and the Ethos Farm team to ensure the car parking experience is exceptional for all guests, whatever their particular needs, and it is impressive how these two UK flagship shopping destinations continue to raise the bar at every customer touchpoint.”

On top of these impressive developments, March will also see the launch of the WelcoMe app at both Westfield shopping centres – an ‘industry first’ in retail in England. The WelcoMe app will be used by the Ethos Farm Guest Experience teams inside the mall and in the car parks to allow guests with accessibility needs and non-visible disabilities to request additional support or simply let the Guest Services teams know they are there. The award-winning application provides peace of mind for guests and delivers an excellent educational function for staff, providing key information to help understand different conditions and how to deliver the optimum service to all guests at all times.

Gavin Neate, Founder of WelcoMe said:
"This will be truly game-changing for Westfield’s disabled guests who can expect to meet more knowledgeable and disability confident staff."
These three big advances come in the wake of a series of enhancements delivered over the last two years including site-wide Social Inclusion Training that achieved a UK Customer Experience Award 2021 and the introduction of the Companion Cane, developed by visually impaired journalist Amar Latif.

About Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield is the premier global developer and operator of Flagship Destinations, with a portfolio valued at €56.3 Bn as of December 31, 2020, of which 85% in retail, 8% in offices, 5% in convention & exhibition venues and 2% in services. Currently, the Group owns and operates 87 shopping centres, including 53 Flagships in the most dynamic cities in Europe and the United States. Present on two continents and in 12 countries, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield provides a unique platform for retailers and brand events and offers an exceptional and constantly renewed experience for customers. With the support of its 3,100 professionals and an unparalleled track-record and know-how, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield is ideally positioned to generate superior value and develop world-class projects. Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield distinguishes itself by its Better Places 2030 agenda, that sets its ambition to create better places that respect the highest environmental standards and contribute to better cities. Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield stapled shares are listed on Euronext Amsterdam and Euronext Paris (Euronext ticker: URW), with a secondary listing in Australia through Chess Depositary Interests. The Group benefits from an BBB+ rating from Standard & Poor’s and from a Baa2 rating from Moody’s.

About People’s Parking

People’s Parking is an accreditation scheme for car parks. The scheme primarily aims to improve car parks for customers by enabling them to find a car park which meets their needs.
Depending on the facilities a car park has different accreditations are awarded, as long as the scheme standards are met. These accreditations aim to highlight car parks which have facilities for disabled people, parents with children, people who drive electric vehicles, those who drive light commercial vehicles/camper vans, and those who drive from wheelchair accessible vehicles.
As well as facilities, the location of a car park is considered and car parks which are great for shopping and those which are situated at transport interchanges are accredited. There are also accreditations for health facilities, Universities, tourist attractions, pubs, restaurants, hotels and sports facilities as it is advantageous for customers visiting these places to know what facilities they will find in advance. It also helps people looking for a car park to know if non-patrons can use the car park. In addition it can be helpful to know if pay-by-phone and a pre-book service are available, so these are also included in the scheme.
Finally People’s Parking is not just about motorists a lot of cyclists and motorcyclists struggle to find somewhere safe and secure to park their motorcycle/bicycle so car parks that provide this service are recognised too.

About Neatebox (creator of WelcoMe)

Neatebox’s mission is to create a scalable and sustainable company that creates solutions to the very real challenges faced by our society and aims to build smart solutions based on the challenges disabled people face every day. Smart technology has made total inclusion possible, however, this is only achievable if products meet the real needs of those who have been partitioned.
Founder Gavin Neate’s background with Guide Dogs UK as a Mobility Instructor for 18 years has led to having a comprehensive knowledge of visual impairment and the wider disability sector along with an
increasing interest in new and groundbreaking assistive technologies.
This foundation has been built upon to develop 2 key products.
WelcoMe, our disability aware Customer Service platform makes it easy to get the personalised accessible customer service at participating venues and enable staff to deliver excellent customer service every-time a user visits.
With Button, our remote button push app, you can use your mobile phone to any type of button. It can be used to open doors and operate pedestrian crossings safely and confidently.

About Ethos Farm Limited

Ethos Farm Limited is an award-winning consultancy with offices based in London, New York and Singapore. At the heart of the business is a desire to help organisations create and grow the right company ethos through their workforces, whether front-line customer facing staff, management or business leaders. The ethos of Ethos Farm is that ‘the people who represent your company are your most important brand ambassadors and that is why we help to unleash their power and potential’.
The consultancy offers expertise in customer experience and service design, the embedding of great service principles through engaging and immersive training and the reinforcement of service messages through unique technology applications. The business offers staffing solutions for retail, travel retail and airport operations as well as guide other companies on their manpower performance and optimisation.
In 2021 Ethos Farm secured 2 UK Customer Experience and 4 UK Employee Experience Awards including Team of the Year, 2020. Ethos Farm was named the Learning Start-up Provider of the Year at the LPI’s Learning Awards and in 2019, the company was named Gatwick Diamond New Business of the Year and also was awarded two Moodies Airport Digital Awards for Best Employee Engagement Technology and Best Use of Mobile.
Find out more at www.ethosfarm.com or by following Ethos Farm on Facebook @ethosfarm, on Twitter @ethosfarmUK, on Instagram ethos_farm or on LinkedIn: Ethos Farm Limited

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