Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is introducing 600 of it's new 'more secure shopping trolleys', designed in collaboration with parents of disabled children, in stores across the UK from this week.
The new trolleys are fitted with a special padded seat and harness and have been described as "a benchmark to others in the retail sector" by Minister for Disabled People Mark Harper. All Sainsbury’s supermarkets will have at least one of the new trolleys by the end of October.
The design adaptions were prompted by articles written by parents Maria Box and Stacie Lewis, whose children have autism and brain damage from birth respectively.
Announcing the introduction of the new trolleys Hannah Bernard, Sainsbury’s director of customer experience, said: "We were reviewing our range of trolleys when we read about Maria’s experience and Stacie’s call for supermarkets to introduce a new trolley for disabled children. We immediately contacted them and invited them to trial our new trolley with their children.
"We always had trolleys for parents with disabled children but they weren’t appropriate for children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy or autism. We hope these new trolleys will make shopping much easier for thousands of parents like Stacie and Maria and are very grateful to them for helping us with the design."
From April of this year, the supermarket invested in developing prototype trolleys and trials by Maria, Stacie and other parents of disabled children.
Commenting on the new trolleys Maria (pictured with five-year-old son Ryan) said: "I am thrilled that Sainsbury’s has invested in these trolleys. All parents with disabled children know how stressful it can be to take them shopping. It had got to the point where I couldn’t go shopping with Ryan because he had outgrown the seat. In this new trolley he is properly supported, safe and happy. It will revolutionise our shopping trips.
"The other benefit is that people now look at the trolley and understand that there could be a reason why Ryan is distressed, rather than the usual label of being a 'naughty child,' which we so often have to endure when out in public."