The WAVE Award

The WAVE Award is to encourage local Muswell Hill businesses as they take steps to be more inclusive – being equally welcoming to people with and without learning disabilities whether as customers or employees.

We launched the award in summer 2019, with customers and businesses invited to make nominations.

The winner of this first award was Zebra Ceramics of Alexandra Park Road.

Nominators said: “The café itself is always warm and welcoming to all. They go above and beyond with
customers to welcome people of all abilities.”

“Zebra are very aware of those with additional needs. A child with severe autism who was noisy and
breaking things was helped to calm down, so he and his mum could enjoy the space.”

“Zebra have offered weekly work experience to a young adult with learning disabilities. She is able to
grow her confidence and skill set through this work experience opportunity.”

A number of other businesses were strong contenders for the award.

The Mossy Well

“They employ at least three people who have learning disabilities. Their training is perfectly inclusive and they look after their staff. I know two of the employees who are so pleased to be employed by this establishment, they feel included and a total part of the team.”

“It is great to see customers at ease when they are being served by someone with learning disabilities. It also makes them more understanding to those with learning disabilities.”

Planet Organic

“They are very welcoming of me (I have a learning disability). They always want to help me with paying and sorting my change. They have signs on the floor directing you to different areas so you know where you are going.”

Kay and Kompany

“Being inclusive as a business means that I am a loyal and long-term customer.”

“Our salon operates a strict ‘No Judgement Policy’. Our customers, including our team, are from all walks of life and everyone is welcomed, loved and appreciated equally. We are proud to employ and train people with learning difficulties. We adapt our training to meet everyone’s individual needs. For each individual to bring their best self forward a sense of belonging must first be established.”

M&S

“There are two staff I know of at M&S who have learning disabilities. The staff know their roles and
they are included in all social events within the team. The teams all look out for them and they
support each other well.”

Stella’s room

“Some of their disabled customers have said that they get lonely, feel cut off and sometimes feel
that things can get too much for them to deal with. The owners have said that the disabled people
can come into the café on a particular morning and get a free tea or coffee to relax and get away
from problems.”

“As more disabled people with support needs use Stella’s, she and her staff get more experience of
serving disabled customers effectively.”

Amici Miel 2 Go

“In Wave’s early years, staff here kindly rearranged their small take-out restaurant to accommodate
us all and were not fazed by the range of abilities among our members. We felt welcomed and had
a great evening out. I think staff were encouraged to see the mix of young adults with and without
learning disabilities comfortably socialising together.”

What’s next?
We were delighted with the response to the first year of the WAVE Award. It’s encouraging to see
businesses taking steps towards greater inclusion and we look forward to even more nominations
for the 2020 award (details will be made available nearer the time).

About Wave
Wave (We’re All Valued Equally) was founded in Muswell Hill 10 years ago. We’re a movement for
change, working to see communities where individuals with and without learning disabilities can
comfortably mix. Our ethos is that we do things with and not for each other.

Wave’s research shows that people in Muswell Hill are more open to the idea of mixed abilities
socialising than the country as a whole. We believe everyone can contribute to our local community,
irrespective of their abilities, and that when this happens everyone benefits.

We thank those businesses who are already working to be more inclusive and are very grateful for the support we receive from the Muswell Business group.

Watch highlight videos of the day here

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