Autism training for Hever Castle staff

October 31 2023 | What's on

Hever Castle staff have taken part in training to help them better support autistic visitors.

The training created by the National Autistic Society includes modules such as Understanding Autism, Autism and Communication and Autism and the Sensory Experience.

The training, which has been undertaken by staff from different departments across the estate, was created with the help of autistic people.

As well as helping to support visitors throughout the year coming to Hever Castle, the training has helped staff better understand how to create a Christmas grotto experience which caters for SEN children.

For the first time in 2023, Hever Castle has been offering tailored grotto sessions with no music, limited queueing and crowding and the use of PECS cards and picture story boards.

The autism training is part of a bid to make Hever Castle more accessible for those with impairments and disabilities. It follows the introduction of BSL interpreted Jousting in 2021 and deaf led Christmas tours.

Staff will also be undergoing training from the Alzheimer’s Society, one of Hever Castle’s charities of the year, on how to deal with visitors with dementia.

Learning and Engagement Manager Harriet Waldron said: “We are always looking at ways to make Hever Castle more accessible. We hope that staff training will ensure those visiting who have a disability or additional needs get the most from their visit.”