Bromley centre chosen as new store’s charity partner

The National Autistic Society’s Lorna Wing Centre, based in Bromley, who helped to cut the ribbon and open a new co-operative convenience store in the area, has received a donation of £1,000.

The Lorna Wing Centre helps hundreds of families every year to get a diagnosis for autism and it has been chosen by Southern Co-op colleagues to be the Bromley store’s new charity partner.

The new Co-operative Food store at 1 Homesdale Road, Bromley, opened its doors for the first time at 6am on 6 March 2019 and will continue to open seven days a week from 6am to 11pm.

Located south of the town centre of Bromley, the store is part of the independent, regional co-operative – Southern Co-op – which prides itself on giving back to the local community.

The £1,000 donation and charity partnership is part of Southern Co-op’s ‘Love Your Neighbourhood’ programme which aims to create greener, safer, healthier or more inclusive neighbourhoods.

Joanne Parker, Business and Finance Manager at The Lorna Wing Centre, said: “We were established in 1991 to provide children, young people and adults with diagnostic assessments for autism.

“Families will come to us for the day so we try to offer a relaxed atmosphere and a nice garden area. We are so happy to receive the donation and to become the store’s charity partner – it means we can turn our garden into a sensory area.

“Anxieties can be quite high on the day of assessment so we really want the sensory garden to become a nice area for families to go out and relax. The day of the assessment can be emotional so to be able to offer this area will be a great benefit for all.”

Autism is a lifelong disability which affects how people communicate and interact with the world. According to the National Autistic Society, there are approximately 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK.

Paul Light, Store Manager at Southern Co-op’s new Bromley store, said: “We are just around the corner from the Lorna Wing Centre so it is really special to be able to support a small local centre which does a lot for both adults and children. They really help them to understand what they are dealing with and the team is really friendly.

“It is incredibly exciting to have this store open and trading. Being part of Southern Co-op means there are also other community opportunities with other local causes so I hope we can make a real difference in the area.”

The new store features a food to go selection with takeaway coffee and an in-store bakery plus a variety of regionally sourced products within its Local Flavours range including Kent Crisps and Kentish Mayde Pies. For added customer convenience, as well as main tills, there are also self-service checkouts.

The new store is currently recruiting for colleagues to join its team. To find out more, visit www.southernco-opjobs.co.uk/jobs. Or to view updates about the store, visit www.facebook.com/TheCooperativeFoodBromleyHomesdaleRoad/.

Information about The Lorna Wing Centre services can be found via www.autism.org.uk/lwc or by emailinglornawingcentre@nas.org.uk.

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