Sunflower lanyards scheme for hidden disabilities


I didn’t know about the Sunflower Lanyard for hidden disabilities scheme until this week when a friend was talking about it on FB. The scheme was started at Gatwick Airport a few years ago. Over 1000 people with hidden disabilities use passenger assistance at Gatwick every month. The lanyard scheme was designed to make sure travellers had an easier time at the airport. Hidden disabilities includes people with dementia, autism, hearing loss, and fibromyalgia who may find walking, standing, and queuing difficult, or find the sounds, crowds and lights overwhelming. Staff have been trained to offer appropriate support when they see someone wearing the lanyard.

The scheme was so popular that it was rolled out across all the UK airports and now is being trialled by some rail companies.

Now it’s also being trialled by Sainsbury’s to assist shoppers with making it around the super-sized supermarkets. I have a chronic fatigue condition so know how this feels. I’ve got my lanyard ready to go and face Stanstead next month.

You can collect a free Sunflower Lanyard from the assistance desk of any UK airport, or customer services at selected Sainsbury’s running the trial:




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Person-Centred Counsellor in Walthamstow, East London