Harrogate’s Geek Retreat to create autism-friendly space


Last updated Sep 23, 2021
Geek Retreat on Oxford Street

Local not-for-profit organisation Pride in Diversity has teamed up with Harrogate shop Geek Retreat to create an inclusive space for people with autism.

Geek Retreat describes itself as a ‘geek culture’ venue that specialises in items such as comics, trading card games, board games and video games.

It recently opened a branch on Oxford Street in the unit that housed the Early Learning Centre for years.

Pride in Diversity, which promotes diversity, will train Geek Retreat staff about how to ensure autistic people have a positive time whilst visiting.

It will also build a stim kit to help relieve tension for autistic people and an autism-inclusive activity time will take place on Sundays along with LGBTQIA evenings on Tuesdays.

Geek Retreat will host art from Pride in Diversity’s Speaking Out campaign, which includes oral history recordings, objects and photographs from Harrogate’s LGBTQIA community.

Laura Hellfield, a director at Pride in Diversity, said:

“The partnership between us at Pride in Diversity and Geek Retreat was a quick decision as we share a vision of creating inclusive and accepting spaces. Soon we will be launching an Autism Inclusive session on Sundays. Inclusive sessions let those in the Autistic community know that they matter and deserve a place to enjoy and that has been adjusted to meet their needs.

“These sessions will be incredibly valuable for those coming to make like-minded friendships and to simply have fun while crafting and playing board games together.”

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