Mistral helps towards Devizes becoming the third town in the UK to achieve Makaton friendly status

Our Mistral store staff in Devizes have joined forces with local mum Lucy Heasman and other local businesses to help Devizes officially become the 3rd town in the UK to achieve Makaton friendly status.


Local mum Lucy first approached the local Council after hearing Romsey was the first town to achieve the status. She said: “It started off as something for my son to be able to communicate as he loves shopping, but it developed into a wider thing.”

Makaton is a simpler form of sign language to help people who find it difficult to communicate. Work began 18 months ago to get staff from 25 local businesses and organisations trained up to learn 30 signs and symbols. Top-up sessions were then offered to learn vocabulary tailored to each store.

“It’s made a huge difference, there was no-one else outside of our family using it who we knew who could use it, so it’s made it more of a part of his [her son’s] everyday life when he is outside of the house,” commented Lucy.

She added her five-year-old son’s confidence had grown as he can communicate independently without relying on her. “It’s actually quite intuitive – it was great fun and everybody picked it up really quickly.”

Karen from our Devizes store commented “At Mistral Devizes our ability to use Makaton allows us to ensure that all of our customers feel valued and receive the same warm welcome and help when they shop with us”.

Find out more about Makaton here

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