THE THISTLES shopping centre will be hosting a quiet hour on Sunday October 29 to make the shopping experience less stressful for customers affected by autism.

Stores will participating in the eventbetween 10am and 11am by adjusting their lighting where possible and turning off in-store music.

The Thistles has been working alongside national charity Scottish Autism to build understanding of the condition across the retailers.

There will also be information on display on the day where the public can find out more about autism and the types of support available.

Charlene Tait, director of autism practice and research at Scottish  Autism, said: “Shopping can be a stressful experience for autistic people and their families.

"The bright lights, music and smells can be overwhelming and lead some people to avoid shopping altogether.

"We welcome initiatives such as these where small adjustments can make for a more relaxed environment for people with autism or other sensory conditions.”

A spokesperson for The Thistles added: “We are pleased to be holding a quiet hour, a fantastic initiative to raise awareness of the very real challenges autistic people face in their daily lives.

"Hopefully through the collective efforts of our retailers, the autism hour will provide a welcome respite for those affected as well as lead to a greater understanding of the associated difficulties of the condition.”

Hosting a quiet hour is the latest of The Thistles’ 40 Good Deeds campaign running throughout the centre’s 40th anniversary year.