Sainsbury’s to introduce hundreds of new shopping trolleys developed with parents of disabled children

Disability Trolley 2

Sainsbury’s has responded to calls from parents with disabled children for a more secure shopping trolley and, after months of testing a prototype with parents and children, the retailer has today announced that they will begin introducing nearly 600 of the new trolleys to supermarket stores across the UK from 15 September.

All Sainsbury’s supermarkets will have at least one of the new trolleys, which are designed for disabled children aged 3-8 years, by the end of October.

In April this year, after reading articles by parents Maria Box and Stacie Lewis about how difficult they found shopping with the current trolleys used by supermarkets, Sainsbury’s invited them to trial the prototype trolley at their local Sainsbury’s store. Their feedback was used to develop the perfect trolley.

Key features of the new trolley:

  • New 'wrap around seat' with secure harness system for added security
  • Padded seat to maximise comfort
  • Bag hook on the trolley for shopping bags
  • Safety information and weight restriction display panel for customers

Commenting on the new trolleys Maria Box, whose 5 year old son Ryan has autism, said: "I am thrilled that Sainsbury’s has invested in these trolleys. All parents with disabled children know how stressful it can be to take them shopping. It had got to the point where I couldn’t go shopping with Ryan because he had outgrown the seat. In this new trolley he is properly supported, safe and happy. It will revolutionise our shopping trips.

"The other benefit is that people now look at the trolley and understand that there could be a reason why Ryan is distressed, rather than the usual label of being a 'naughty child,' which we so often have to endure when out in public."

Stacie Lewis mother of May, aged 5 who suffered brain damage at birth, said: "Before my daughter, May, could use an accessible trolley, our choices were severely limited. We could use her wheelchair in the store and carry a basket; pushing her and a shopping trolley was impossible. But, a shopping basket only fits enough food for an evening and even then, it was very difficult to push her wheelchair while carrying one. The only real option was leaving her at home and excluding her from a normal family activity.

"Now, she can go shopping with us again. She enjoys the sounds and stimulation of shopping. She is not excluded from normal life and we are not either. Because this is what people don't realise; as soon as an activity is made inaccessible to May, it is made inaccessible to our whole family."

Announcing the introduction of the new trolleys Hannah Bernard, Sainsbury’s Director of Customer Experience said: "We were reviewing our range of trolleys when we read about Maria’s experience and Stacie’s call for supermarkets to introduce a new trolley for disabled children. We immediately contacted them and invited them to trial our new trolley with their children.

"We always had trolleys for parents with disabled children but they weren’t appropriate for children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy or autism. We hope these new trolleys will make shopping much easier for thousands of parents like Stacie and Maria and are very grateful to them for helping us with the design."

Mark Harper MP, Minister of State for Disabled People said: "It’s excellent news that Sainsbury’s are taking steps to improve the shopping experience for disabled people. This new trolley should serve as a benchmark for others in the retail sector."



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21 comments for “0913 Sainsbury’s to introduce hundreds of new shopping trolleys developed with parents of disabled children”

  • Katie Clarke15 September 2014 at 16:27:23

    This is exceptionally good news. We know that there have been many challenges over the years for families with disabled children to access supermarkets. We are keen to ensure that other barriers such as attitude in supermarkets also improves as a result. We are the only organisation working in the field of accessible tourism that offers training to venues and organisations in customer service with a specialism on disability awarenss seen through the eyes of families with disabled children. Families tell us their three priorities are: attitude of staff, good accessibility and Changing Places toilets.

  • S Olson17 September 2014 at 12:46:29

    I am delighted that you are doing this as my six year old son is too big for the trolley which makes it very difficult to take him to our local branch in Liphook. I would like to request that you offer two or three trolleys at this branch. Your branch is within a fifteen minutes drive to two large special needs schools and we have many special needs families in this area. We can find it difficult to shop without the right kind of support. Many thanks!

  • beth 17 September 2014 at 13:05:42

    Over the moon about this. I have a child with special needs she can't hold her head up this will make shopping much better. :))

  • Elaine Collins17 September 2014 at 15:11:04

    It's fantastic to see these seats being introduced by Sainsburys. The thinking behind them, and the initial design, came from children's charity Cerebra, who have been working with Firefly to make them commercially available. Cerebra works to support children with neurological conditions and our Innovation Centre designs and produces unique products for children that simply aren't available anywhere else. To find out more visit

  • Claire Morrissey17 September 2014 at 16:50:36

    Please could you tell me if the Dome roundabout store in Watford will be receiving a child's disabled trolley. I regularly bring my 10 year old wheelchair bound son shopping at weekends, this would make shopping so much easier. The disabled parking at this store is fantastic and when I push my sons wheelchair and pull a trolley the staff are always willing to help with packing and on a good day I even get help loading the car!

  • Richard17 September 2014 at 16:53:15

    I can see this getting abused by so called normal peps. Can they fit a radar key lock to it

  • Patricia Hutchison17 September 2014 at 21:29:38

    These look very good and a very needed addition for taking children with a disability shopping well done

  • Keri Ricks18 September 2014 at 15:06:24

    About time too, my son is now 18 and these would have been a god send when shopping

  • Emma Topping18 September 2014 at 15:29:01

    Hi Richard - We have not fitted radar locks as we know that not all customers with children who have a disability will have a key and we want to ensure that they are as accessible as possible. We will be monitoring customer feedback closely and will ensure we have the right number in our stores to meet demand.

  • Emma Topping18 September 2014 at 15:32:02

    Hi Claire - I'm pleased to let you know that all our supermarkets will be receiving the new disabled child trolley between now and the end of October. Dome Roundabout should receive theirs by the start of October. I'm delighted that you have had such great experiences when visiting this store with your son and we hope that this trolley makes it even easier for you to shop. You may also be interested to know that we offer a trolley that clips onto a wheelchair so that customers don’t have to push a wheelchair and a separate trolley. Our Dome Roundabout colleagues will be happy to let you know more about this if you would like more detail.

  • nicky18 September 2014 at 18:57:38

    about time too, when will my local store at Withymoor, amblecote be getting theirs??? My daughter is well known at the store as she used to practice walking with her walking frame up and down the aisles however she now uses a wheelchair, the trolley for the wheelchair users at our store isnt suitable or a childs wheelchair only an adults size so shes not able to come with me as i cant push the chair and trolley on my own :-(

  • mrs Dorothy Spence19 September 2014 at 17:55:01

    I have been a teacher of children with special needs for 27 years and feel I must write to congratulate Sainsburys for introducing special trolleys for children with disabilities. families of children with additional needs have a really difficult time when trying to do the things most families take for granted and supermarket shopping must be one of the most difficult. add to the physical problems of trying to get your shopping whilst pushing a wheelchair parents often have to put up with the rude stares and comments of other customers if their child has sensory difficulties and may be screaming or generally finding the experience difficult to handle. Your new trollys will undoubtably be a great help in making life a little easier. thank you for listening and responding to a real need in the community. regards Dorothy Spence.

  • carolyn carey19 September 2014 at 21:27:51

    So pleased this will make life so much easier for so many parents well done Sainsburys for recognising the need cant wait to try it out and a BIG THANK YOU to Cerebra for not just highlighting the problem but finding a practical solution to it

  • nikki barratt01 October 2014 at 20:33:40

    Thank you so much! Please put them in my local bretton peterborough peterborough branch. Have a 5 yrs old son with a disability and was starting to panic about how I would handle the trolley and my boy once I could not fit him in your regular trolly.

  • Nadia Karmazyn-Wall 25 October 2014 at 14:17:21

    I asked about the new trolley at my local store in Heaton, Newcastle a few weeks ago. They looked at me blankly and after asking around someone knew what I was talking about but could not tell me when they would be getting one. Could someone please advise?

  • laura jones28 October 2014 at 12:11:42

    Tried this out today in sainsburys - fab! Thank you so much for providing them :)

  • Emma Topping28 October 2014 at 13:05:29

    Hello Nadia - our Heaton store had the trolley delivered at the end of September. We've spoken to our colleagues and they've confirmed they keep it next to the customer service desk along with the scooters and wheelchairs. The checkout manager will remind colleagues in huddles what the trolley is for. Thank you, Emma

  • Maria Box26 November 2014 at 16:32:31

    How lovely to read such great comments. I am so pleased so many families can now access these countrywide. I cannot thank Sainsbury's enough for asking Ryan and I to be part of this exciting project. This has made such a difference already and I do agree that at least two should be in every store. Thank you :-)

  • Michelle Whatley03 March 2015 at 21:03:20

    Have these been introduced to all stores now? I haven't seen any at my local Redhill Sainsbury's and having one of these would make life so much easier.

  • Donna Grout05 March 2015 at 16:00:02

    Hi Michelle, I've had a check and our Red Hill store received their trolleys in September- they should have two in the store and they're kept inside the store by the photo machine. I hope that helps. Best wishes, Donna

  • Katie Richardson16 March 2015 at 10:30:56

    I don't usually shop at Sainsburys...but I will from now on! Hope all the other supermarkets follow and introduce these.

About the article

  • Posted on: 13 September 2014
  • Type of article: Press release