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Buckingham Palace receives Autism Friendly Award

Release date: Friday, 31 August 2018

Tim Knox, Director of the Royal Collection, is presented with an Autism Friendly Award by Carol Povey, Director of The Centre for Autism

Tim Knox, Director of the Royal Collection, is presented with an Autism Friendly Award by Carol Povey, Director of The Centre for Autism ©

Buckingham Palace has been awarded with an Autism Friendly Award by the National Autistic Society, in recognition of Royal Collection Trust's commitment to making its facilities as accessible as possible for visitors on the autism spectrum.

The Palace has been recognised for its provision of advance visitor information on the Royal Collection Trust website, including information and photographs to guide visitors around the Summer Opening of the State Rooms. The website also provides details on quieter times to visit and support for visitors during queueing and security. Visitor Services staff based at Buckingham Palace receive Disability Confidence training as part of their induction, to ensure that every visitor has an enjoyable experience.

The first 'Quiet Tour' of Buckingham Palace was held in May 2018, providing children on the autism spectrum with the chance to experience the Palace in a relaxed way that suited their needs, and autism support groups and charities are encouraged to enquire about visits as part of Royal Collection Trust's Access and Inclusion programme.

Jemima Rellie, Director of Content and Audiences, Royal Collection Trust said, "We are thrilled to be receiving this award recognising the work we do to ensure that visitors on the autism spectrum feel welcome at Buckingham Palace. We endeavour to make the Palace accessible and enjoyable for as many people as possible, and we hope that the award will encourage more people to visit and experience this magnificent royal residence."

Mark Lever, Chief Executive at the National Autistic Society, said, “We’re delighted that Royal Collection Trust are ensuring that they are accessible to autistic people and their families to enjoy. Like anyone, autistic people and their families want the opportunity to enjoy days out and rich historical heritage sites, but many can find activities like this overwhelming and avoid them altogether. This is why it’s so encouraging to see a growing number of attractions and businesses trying to become more accessible and adapting their everyday practices. As we’ve found helping organisations achieve our own Autism Friendly Award, it’s often the smallest changes that make the biggest difference. For instance making sure that staff are aware of autism, and that there are quieter places for autistic visitors to go if they're feeling overwhelmed. We hope that other attractions and businesses will be inspired by Buckingham Palace and do their bit to help make sure autistic people and their families have the same opportunities as everyone else."

Buckingham Palace joins Windsor Castle in holding an Autism Friendly Award. The Castle was one of the first cultural heritage sites in the UK to receive the award when it launched in the summer of 2016, and was reaccredited in March 2018.

Find out more about provisions for visitors with autism at Buckingham Palace.