RANGERS has today been honoured with the Autism Friendly Award after it improved accessibility for autistic supporters at Ibrox Stadium.
Earlier this year the Club, in partnership with the fans, launched Broxi’s Den, a facility that allows supporters with complex learning difficulties and sensory challenges such as autism to enjoy matches at the Stadium.
This private suite based in the Broomloan Stand Corner, is made up of different zones, including a sensory suite and viewing gallery and will help children and young adults with sensory difficulties acclimatise to the noise, crowds and bustle of a busy matchday.
The Club has also provided autism awareness sessions for staff, will be creating quiet zones throughout the stadium and have produced guides to help fans prepare for their visit. Children aged between 5 and 12 receive priority for afternoon games and young adults will have priority for evening matches.
Rangers striker Kenny Miller received the award from Jo Hamilton, Head of Campaigns at The National Autistic Society Scotland, in Broxi’s Den at Ibrox today.
Jo Hamilton said: “I am incredibly impressed by the ambitious approach that Rangers has taken to improving access for autistic fans. Broxi’s Den is a state-of-the-art facility that allows supporters to have a matchday experience that they feel comfortable with. The Club is very deserving of our Autism Friendly Award.”
The National Autistic Society Scotland supported Rangers Football Club by reviewing architects’ plans for Broxi’s Den and providing autism awareness sessions for stewards and stand safety managers.
Kenny Miller commented: “I am delighted all the hard work by Rangers staff and the fans has been recognised with the Autism Friendly Award. It is fantastic we can now offer an area for fans with sensory challenges to watch their team in a quiet and calm environment who may have previously been unable to do so.”
Craig Donnelly, parent of Alfie who has visited Broxi’s Den and one of the main fundraisers commented: “It is great to see the Club getting the award for something that will make a big difference to people’s lives.”
Rangers Disability Access Manager Liz Kay commented: “We are immensely proud of our fans for taking ownership of the proposal to create a safe and quiet space and on behalf of the Club, I would like to thank The National Autistic Society for its support and advice in helping us achieve this.”
The Autism Friendly Award, administered by The National Autistic Society Scotland, recognises organisations that have taken steps to ensure autistic people and their families can access and enjoy their public spaces. It was introduced after the charity revealed that 66 per cent of autistic people in Scotland feel socially isolated.
Aberdeen FC became the first football club in Scotland to win the Award in March this year. In Scotland, it is also held by the Scottish Parliament, Glasgow Film Theatre and MacRobert Arts Centre, among others.
The National Autistic Society Scotland is keen to support more organisations to become autism-friendly. To find out more about the award, please email [email protected].
Supporters wishing to apply for places in Broxi’s Den at Ibrox can contact the Club in three easy ways:-