If you have a disability that may not be immediately obvious but would appreciate support from staff in UK airports, certain railways, supermarkets or visitor attractions, then you may be interested to know there is a lanyard you can wear to signal this.
The lanyard, which is entirely voluntary for people with hidden disabilities and their families, acts as a discreet sign for staff that additional support or help may be required.
The hidden disabilities lanyard is also called the “sunflower lanyard” because of its appearance – a strip of green with a pattern of yellow sunflowers. Once you get one, it is yours to keep and use for future travels, shopping trips and outings where the scheme is recognised.
In 2016, Gatwick launched the first-of-its-kind lanyard for passengers with hidden disabilities who may require additional support when travelling through the airport.
For instance, by wearing the lanyard at Gatwick or other major UK airports, you could receive support with:
The lanyard scheme is gradually being adopted by railways. It is now being used by LNER, which operates the London North Eastern routes, and c2c, which serves 26 stations in East London and South Essex.
The lanyard is being trialled by two major supermarkets. Sainsbury’s is running an extended trial at 40 branches following a successful test at its Barnstaple store, while Tesco is running a trial in 15 of its Hertfordshire stores.
This initiative is being supported by RNIB and other charities including Alzheimer’s Society, The National Autistic Society and Action on Hearing Loss.